The State of the Birds 2010 Report on Climate Change United States of America


The first State of the Birds report in 2009 revealed troubling declines of bird populations in the United States during the last 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. It also highlighted heartening evidence that concerted conservation efforts can make a positive difference in restoring habitats and reversing declines.

In this 2010 State of the Birds report, we consider one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time, climate change. How will climate change affect birds and their habitats? Accelerated by human activities, climate change is altering the natural world as we know it and is diminishing the quality of our environment. Habitat loss and degradation not only threaten birds and other wildlife, but also threaten human and societal well-being.

Because birds are good indicators of environmental conditions, their predicted changes illustrate how ecosystems are likely to change and they are telling us an important story. Some bird species will adapt and succeed, others will struggle and decline, and some will disappear. Instead of describing what has happened to bird populations, this report presents the first systematic analysis of what may happen to bird populations in each major biome of the United States as a consequence of climate change.

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