Texas Birds Among Those At Risk of Extinction

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The report shows two-thirds of North Americacn birds are at risk of extinction.

Audubon scientists say birds are an indicator species.

Audobon released a report in 2014 claiming that half of the country's birds are vulnerable to climate change.

Drawing on tens of thousands of individual observations of 604 bird species, researchers first established current trends in species range and distribution and then projected those trends forward in time based on climate models for different emission scenarios. Dr. Jeff Wells, an ornithologist with the National Audubon Society, says those include iconic species like the common loon, the white-throated sparrow and the hermit thrush.

The full report showed that 63 percent of 604 species in North America would become vulnerable under a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius, compared to 54 percent if temperatures rise 2 degrees and 47 percent they go up 1.5 degrees.

"By stabilizing carbon emissions and holding warming to 2.7 degrees above pre-industrial levels, 76% of vulnerable species will be better off, and almost 150 species would no longer be vulnerable to extinction from climate change", the report said.

Last month, Science published a study by a joint team of conservation biologists describing a grim picture: a steady decline of almost three billion North American birds since 1970, primarily as a result of human activities.

"Climate change is both a direct threat to birds and other wildlife but also a driver of nearly every other threat, that exacerbates their effects", he said.

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This new report takes each bird's biology into account, unlike the old report. "Those loons are what drive my work today and I can't imagine them leaving the USA entirely in summer but that's what we're facing if trends continue".

The models that were used, which are reportedly the culmination of five years of research, are "cutting-edge", according to Josh Lawler, an ecologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who uses similar models to predict how wildlife might respond to climate change; he was not involved in the Audobon study.

On a conference call with reporters Thursday, Yarnold said that "birds localize and personalize climate change".

"We have overlapping climate-change-induced threats: heavy rains, weather that is prone to fire risk, sea levels rising", Wells said.

"Our elected officials at every level of government must hear from their constituents that this is a priority", she said. Audubon's new findings reflect an expanded and more precise data set, and indicate the dire situation for birds and the places they need will continue.

"We already know what we need to do to reduce global warming, and we already have a lot of the tools we need to take those steps", Renee Stone, vice president of climate at Audubon, tells PEOPLE.

American robins, once recognised in northern U.S. states as a harbinger of spring when they return from their southern migration to avoid winter's chill, instead are staying put during increasingly warm North American winters, she said.

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