DETROIT (WLNS) – Today, Audubon Great Lakes announced 64% of North American birds are at increasing risk of extinction from global temperature rise.
Audubon scientists studied 604 North American bird species using 140 million bird records for the report, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink.
“Birds are important indicator species, because if an ecosystem is broken for birds, it is or soon will be for people too,” said Erin Rowan, Michigan birds program associate.
Audubon’s Birds and Climate Visualizer is a web tool that helps the community understand the impacts to birds where they live.
In Michigan the most threatened species include Common Loon, Sedge Wren, Wood Thrush, Pine Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and Henslow’s Sparrow.
Last month, Science published a study by a joint team of conservation biologists that there are nearly three billion fewer birds in North America than there were in 1970.
Audubon says by holding warming to roughly 2.7°F above pre-industrial levels, 76 percent of vulnerable species will be better off, and nearly 150 species would no longer be vulnerable to extinction from climate change.
The nonprofit organization outlined steps to help including reducing home energy use and asking your elected officials to support energy-saving policies.
The National Audubon Society also put answers to some common questions regarding the study on their website.