Photo: Gary Robinette/Audubon Photography Awards
Highly and moderately vulnerable birds may lose more than half of their current range—the geographic area where they live—as they are forced to search for suitable habitat and climate conditions elsewhere.
Below, find out which of the birds that nest or spend the winter in your area are most vulnerable across their entire range. Some birds may lose range outside of your state, making the protection of their current habitat in your area even more important.
Rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns affect birds' ability to find food and reproduce, which over time impacts local populations, and ultimately continent-wide populations, too. Some species may even go extinct in your state if they cannot find the conditions they need to survive and raise their young.
Select a warming scenario to see how this species’ range will change under increased global temperatures.
In order to hold warming steady, we must act now to reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere and limit warming to 1.5 degrees. We must reduce our carbon emissions and also absorb what is produced through natural solutions like reforestation or with technology that removes carbon from the air.
Click the three different warming scenarios to explore how increased warming puts more species in Nebraska at risk.
Nebraska's hardwood forests, prairies, and ponderosa pine woodlands support more than 400 bird species. Along the rolling dunes of the Sand Hills, grasslands are home to the rare Greater Prairie-Chicken and lakes host wintering waterbirds. In spring, half a million Sandhill Cranes descend upon the Platte River and fill the air with loud, bugling calls. (You can view this spectacle from the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary.)
(Data: U.S. EIA)
With recent historic flooding and extreme weather events, there is increasing interest and support for climate policy, but enacting it has stalled. The Great Plains is well known as a wind resource, and this has potential to provide Nebraskan’s with clean energy when appropriately sited. Additionally, Nebraska is the U.S. state with the thirteenth-greatest energy potential from solar power, yet Nebraskans get very little of their power from solar energy.
More frequent and intense droughts in Nebraska have harmed public water supplies, electric power generation, and agriculture. Catastrophic flooding has also devastated Nebraska’s farmers and caused over $1 billion dollars in damages in 2019 alone. In the coming decades, Nebraska will likely experience more frequent and intense droughts, floods, and extreme heat days.