Vulnerable Birds in Texas
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.
How will the Golden-cheeked Warbler's range be affected in Texas?
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.
Reducing warming makes many types of birds found in Texas less vulnerable.
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 Texas at risk.
Texas's Birds and Habitats
Texas plays host to nearly 650 bird species in its multitudinous habitats, including the Gulf Coast, bald-cypress swamps, the windswept plains of the Llano Estacado, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Chihuahuan Desert. Texas Hill Country outside Austin is most famous for two vulnerable residents: the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler. Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, on the Lower Rio Grande, supports the region's subtropical specialties, including Great Kiskadee, Green Jay, and Altamira Oriole. Along the central Texas coast, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge provides refuge for the endangered Whooping Crane, and 400 other bird species.
Climate Policy in Texas
(Data: U.S. EIA)
Though Texas is the leading U.S. producer of both crude oil and natural gas, it also is poised to become a nationwide leader in solar and currently leads the nation in wind generation, producing one-fourth of all U.S. wind-powered electricity in 2017. As of 2019, Texas had more than 230,000 clean energy jobs, the second-largest number in the country after California. To deal with sea-level rise and impending water access concerns, the state has adopted the Coastal Resiliency Master Plan.
Climate Threats Facing Birds and People in Texas
Extreme weather events, including floods, hurricanes, and droughts, have caused more than $100 billion in damages in Texas—more than any other state in the nation. Sea levels have risen up to 18 inches since 1950, and could rise another six inches in the next 14 years, threatening coastal communities, eroding beaches and wetlands, and increasing damage from coastal storms. In the coming decades, Texas will likely experience intensified hurricanes and heat waves, as well as more-frequent droughts that threaten water availability for energy-generation and contribute to land aridification.
The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk harm people, too. Hover over or tap an area on the map to see specific threats that will affect that area as warming increases.