March 31, 2016
Scientists have shown for the first time that common bird populations are responding to climate change in a similar pronounced way in both Europe and the
An international team of researchers led by
found that populations of bird species expected to do well due to climate
change had substantially outperformed those expected to do badly over a 30 year
period from 1980 to 2010. Durham University, UK
The research, conducted in collaboration with the RSPB and the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is published in the journal Science.
It is the first real demonstration that climate is having a similar, large-scale influence on the abundance of common birds in widely separated parts of the world, the researchers said.
Among the species showing pronounced effects of climate change are common woodland and garden birds such as the wren, in Europe, and the American robin in the
The scientists characterised the climates favoured by different bird species to find out if recent changes in climate should have positively or negatively affected common breeding birds.
Using climate records for the period 1980 to 2010 they split species into two groups based on whether climate had been getting progressively better or worse for each species.