When someone among the faithful birding community in the Mount Pleasant area comes across a Bohemian waxwing, word about a rare sighting of the bird gets out quickly through social media and cellphones.
But even the best communication tools might not help birders find their favorites in the coming decades. A study released this week by the Audubon Society asserts that climate change will drastically alter the habitats of dozens of species nationwide and, in some cases, lead to their extinction in 65 years. At least one university biologist says the state is already experiencing some of these bird habitat changes.
|bohemian waxwing - Audobon Society|
The Audubon Society study paints a grim future when, by 2080, “the climate model projects, dozens of avian species across the country could be hurtling toward extinction — and not just birds that are already in trouble.” Conditions that attract birds during certain times of the year are changing, meaning the geographic locations where they flourish might shrink or move if the society’s climate model proves accurate.
For Michigan, located in the heart of the Great Lakes as well as in the migratory route known as the Mississippi Flyway, it might mean the departure of several cherished species and drastically reduced numbers of others. And it might affect several communities financially.