What We’ve Learned From Four Years of Climate Watch

Audubon’s new Climate Watch report reveals the importance of community science in helping us protect birds and the places they need.

Over the last 4 years, Audubon’s Climate Watch program has been helping strengthen our understanding of how birds are currently responding to climate change. To do so, Climate Watch integrates climate projections from Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change report with community scientists’ local knowledge of where the birds are, or should be. Since 2016, more than 1,200 skilled volunteers from across the U.S. have collaborated with Audubon scientists by testing the predictions of target species’ mid-2020s climate model projections through on-the-ground monitoring. These structured surveys, conducted both in winter and summer, have allowed us to analyze the relationship between climate suitability and where bird species occur, and allows us to directly test hypotheses about bird responses to climate change.

As climate change is a landscape scale issue, a broad-scale and coordinated effort such as this is needed to understand the impacts of climate change on birds. Climate Watch volunteers have amassed bird records, which is revealing that our target species are, for the most part, shifting their ranges along with our model projected range shifts. Thanks to the efforts of Audubon’s community scientists in ourClimate Watch program, we now have a better understanding on how birds are responding to climate change.

Read the full 2016-2018 report here: https://www.audubon.org/climate-watch-results