State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change

The 2010 State of the Birds report was organized by the North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee and released on March 11, 2010 by the Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. This is the first themed State of the Birds report which explores the vulnerability of birds and their habitats to climate changes across the major biomes of the United States.

The report concludes that birds in every terrestrial and aquatic habitat will be affected by climate change, although individual species in each habitat are likely to respond differently. The relative vulnerability of each U.S. bird species was assessed based on five biological aspects of sensitivity to climate change, as well as the exposure of each species' habitat to climate change in the near future. Species are then categorized as showing high, medium, or low vulnerability.

The report finds that oceanic birds are among the most vulnerable species to climate change because they don’t raise many young each year; they rely on a rapidly changing marine ecosystem; and they nest on islands that may be flooded as sea-levels rise.

This assessment can aid in prioritizing and planning for avian conservation management and indicates that immediate actions are needed to give birds a fighting chance to survive.


Publication Date: March 11, 2010

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