Projected average national park may have 29 percent more species in winter, 6 percent more in summer
Date: March 21, 2018
U.S. National Parks could become even more important for the conservation of bird species in the face of climate change, according to a study published March 21, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Joanna Wu from the National Audubon Society, US, and colleagues.
The U.S. National Parks offer strong protection for birds from many invasive and ecological threats, but little is known about the impact of climate change on bird populations living in the national parks.
Wu and colleagues related species distribution models from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (summer) and Audubon Christmas Bird Count (winter) observations to climate data from the early 2000s and projected to 2041-2070. The researchers analyzed climate suitability projections over time for 513 species across 274 national parks, under a high and low greenhouse gas emission scenario. They then classified climate suitability for birds as improving, worsening, stable, potential colonization, and potential extirpation.