State of the Birds, 2010

Following up on last year’s first report, a coalition of government and non-profit agencies has issued a new State of the Birds report. This version concentrates on the effects of climate change. The key conclusions, from the summary:

Birds in every terrestrial and aquatic habitat will be affected by climate change, although individual species in each habitat are likely to respond differently. . .

[A] majority of birds dependent on oceans, and birds on Hawaiian Islands, are highly vulnerable to climate change. Birds in coastal, arctic/alpine, and grassland habitats, as well as those on Caribbean and other Pacific islands show intermediate levels of vulnerability. Most birds in aridlands, wetlands, and forests show lower overall vulnerability.

Across all habitats, species of conservation concern showed higher levels of vulnerability to climate change than species not threatened by other factors. Vulnerability to climate change may hasten declines or prevent recovery. At the same time, increased conservation concern may be warranted for groups of birds, such as waterfowl and aerial insect-eating birds that are abundant now but that will be increasingly stressed as climate change impacts intensify.