Matt MacGillivray/CC BY 2.0.The resplendent quetzal faces increased competition from other birds and drier habitat due to global warming.
You might think birds, of allanimals, could just pick up and move if their environment changes in a way not to their liking, but global warming poses a very real threat to the avian world: Scientists say climate change is likely to drive up to 900 bird species intoextinctionby the end of the century unless additional conservation measures are taken.
Tropical bird species are particularly vulnerable because they are adapted to living in a stable climate, where temperatures do not vary wildly throughout the year, according toÇağan Şekercioğluof the University of Utah, the lead author of “The effects of climate change on tropical birds,” a scientific review of some 200 separate studies published recently in the journalBiological Conservation.
100-500 More Extinctions For Each Degree Of Warming
Surface warming of 3.5 degrees Celsius — the middle range of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest estimate — by the year 2100 “may result in 600-900extinctionsof land bird species, 89 percent of which occur in the tropics,” Şekercioğlu and his co-authors Richard Primack and Janice Wormworth write. “Depending on the amount of futurehabitat loss, each degree of surface warming could lead to approximately 100-500 additionalbird extinctions.”
caspar s/CC BY 2.0.A red-capped manakin. Some manakin species in Brazil could lose up to 80 percent of their habitat.
The new article, which updates previousresearchfrom 2007, looks at different categories of birds (such as “aquatic birds in the tropics,” “arid zone species,” and “birds in human-dominated landscapes”) to assess which will be the most affected byclimate change. It also examines how global warming compounds other threats, including habitat loss, hunting,invasive species, pollution, and disease.
Habitat Loss Dramatically Compounds The Problem
“[I]n some cases habitat loss [from agriculture and development] can increase bird extinctions caused by climate change by nearly 50 percent,” Şekercioğlu says, calling for further research to be conducted, degraded habitat to be restored, and more land to be protected.
It’s not just birds that are at stake. “Farmers, hunter-gatherers, nomadic herders, and others, especially in less developed countries, depend on a healthy environment, and birds are important for ecosystem services like seed dispersal and insect control,”The New York Timespoints out in an article about the study.
And as Şekercioğlu told the paper: “If this is happening to birds, and they can migrate, then for other organisms, it’s going to be worse.”
Published in www.treehugger.com
Share on social media:
You may also like:
Nic Slocum is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic maintains a lifelong passion for using the written word to promote the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on both radio and TV. A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in regional and national newspapers. Nic is a director of Whale Watch West Cork.com and Whales World Wide.com
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- » POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [8087 Views]
- » Wildlife Photo Adventure in Costa Rica! [6113 Views]
- » Wild Tigers of India – in Battle! [4032 Views]
- » POLL: Is it time to close our zoos? [3270 Views]
- » POLL: Should orcas and dolphins be kept in captivity? [1971 Views]
- Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster – [1277 Views]
- Master of the Sky: Owl versus Wolf – [1223 Views]
- More Bald Eagles Have Died Mysteriously – [1096 Views]
- POLL: Should the lynx be rewilded in the UK? – [1059 Views]
- POLL: Should ‘canned’ lion hunting be banned? – [1042 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- » POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [15267 Views]
- POLL: Should lion canned hunting be banned? » [14291 Views]
- POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? » [9906 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [8091 Views]
- POLL: Should wildlife hunting contests be permitted in Idaho? » [7792 Views]
- POLL: Should Africa’s poachers be shot on sight? » [6724 Views]
- » Wildlife Photo Adventure in Costa Rica! [6140 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of wolves in British Columbia be banned? » [5893 Views]
- » POLL: Should ‘canned’ lion hunting be banned? [5681 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? | [5394 Views]