What Will Happen to the Birds?


Article from BBC


Bird populations around the world are being altered by climate change. Studies and observations on common bird species in Europe and the U.S. have been plentiful, but now researchers have been able to show similar climate effects on distant bird populations throughout the world. What is interesting about ornithology as a science is that the public is able to contribute heavily to studies. Historically and still today, studies often use observations reported from the general public. The public is a useful tool when collecting data on birds, especially when they are migratory or cryptic.

A research team from Durham University has recently published a model predicting changes in bird habitat from long-term climate patterns. The team utilized 30 years of climate data to make the model. The resulting model can be used to predict how a species is faring, and if their numbers are declining or improving. As emphasized above, the public was essential to this study. The team utilized data from thousands of volunteers counting birds across the U.S. and Europe.

The possible future outcomes are as diverse as birds are. Some species benefit from climate change as their home ranges are spreading, and some are worse off as their home ranges are shrinking. As a known general trend, species are moving northward and further up in latitude. However, this is the first time anyone has looked at changes in climate across two extensive parts of the world As a result, the researchers had a clear idea that the impacts of climate change on wildlife is more far-reaching than individuals countries alone. This study sheds light on how climate change is affecting birds collectively across the globe.


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