As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Birders eye link between birds, climate change

A 2014 Audubon Society identified 314 species the society considers to be either threatened or endangered by 2080 if steps aren't taken to reduce greenhouse gases and curb the change.

News Herald Reporter

PANAMA CITY - If the climate changes as scientists have predicted, it could spell problems for some of Bay County's feathered residents.

Take the dunlin, a small brown wading bird with a long beak that winters along the Gulf shoreline. A 2014 climate report done by the Audubon Society showed that if "business continues as usual" when it comes to emissions, by 2080 the dunlin will lose 94 percent of its summer and breeding range in Northern Canada.

"This is a climate endangered species," Norman Capra, vice president of the Bay County Audubon Society, said during a citizen's science presentation Tuesday. "The dunlin is just one. The snowy plover is also endangered, though the data is not as striking."

The 2014 study, which looked at 500 species, identified 314 species that would become either threatened or endangered by 2080 if steps aren't taken to reduce greenhouse gases and curb the change, according to Capra. It also includes predictions for 2020 and 2050.

Whether the predictions turn out to be true will be measured both through the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which 57 Bay County residents took part in this year, and the North American Breeding Bird Count, which takes place in the summer.

As of now, Capra said the data collected does not point conclusively one way or the other. During the December 2016 count, birders noticed some unusual birds such as a Baltimore oriole and some red breasted nuthatches, but it's not enough evidence to prove the birds are being impacted by a changing climate.

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