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Climate change pushing birds to extinction: report

Climate change pushing birds to extinction: report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 9, 2014 (OTTAWA, ON) — Climate change seriously threatens bird species across Canada and the United States according to a new groundbreaking report released today by Nature Canada’s partner organization, the Audubon Society.  The report concludes that half of all birds studied could see their populations drop dramatically on account of climate change. According to the report, habitat disruption brought on by climate change is one of the main factors pushing bird populations into areas to which they are not adapted. The report finds that climate change is happening so fast that many species simply cannot keep up. It concludes that this is likely to lead to the decline of bird populations across North America and, in some cases, outright extinction. “Canada needs to prepare itself for an influx of climate refugee species displaced by warmer temperatures, habitat loss, drought or extreme weather,” said Stephen Hazell, Nature Canada’s Interim Executive Director. “Iconic species like the Chestnut-collared Longspur and the Ivory Gull need our support right now to ensure that they have the habitat they need to survive next year but also in coming years due to worsening climate change.” Audubon’s report echoes the findings of the State of Canada’s Birds report, produced in partnership with Nature Canada, showing that many bird species are declining dramatically in Canada. For 75 years, Nature Canada has worked to protect habitat for species at risk in Canada and internationally. “All the evidence suggests that habitat loss due to climate change is going to hit hard,” said Ted Cheskey, Senior Bird Conservation Manager at Nature Canada. “To help mitigate the impact of climate change, Nature Canada and our provincial affiliates are working with local field naturalist groups and First Nations communities to steward and conserve the Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Canada identified as globally significant.”


[one_third][separator headline="h2" title="Media Contacts:"] Paul Jorgenson Senior Communications Manager 613-562-3447 ext 248 Monica Tanaka Communications Coordinator 613-562-3447 ext 241 [/one_third] [one_third][separator headline="h2" title="About Nature Canada:"] Nature Canada is the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Over the past 75 years, we’ve helped protect over 63 million acres of parks and wildlife areas in Canada and the countless species that depend on this habitat. Today, we represent a network of over 45,000 members & supporters and more than 350 nature organizations in every province across Canada. Nature Canada is a Canadian co-partner in BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations that conserve birds, habitat and global biodiversity. The Audubon Society is the American partner in BirdLife International. Read the full report here. [/one_third] [one_third_last][separator headline="h2" title="Multimedia resources:"]
[caption id="attachment_16133" align="aligncenter" width="125"]image of Ivory Gull Click for full-size image of Ivory Gull for media use[/caption] [caption id="attachment_16134" align="aligncenter" width="125"]image of Chestnut-collared Longspur Click for full-size image of Chestnut-collared Longspur for media use[/caption]

First it was the butterflies, then it was the bees, and now it’s the birds

First it was the butterflies, then it was the bees, and now it’s the birds

A specific kind of insecticide has been harming bees worldwide. But it is starting to have a ripple effect. A study in the Netherlands has shown that there has been a decline in farmland birds. They trace the decline to the use of a particular kind of insecticide known as neonicotinoids on insects. Many birds eat insects or feed it to their young. But if their food has been contaminated then it’s possible for even a single kernel of corn to cause the birds to get sick or even die.

Check out National Geographic's excellent video on neonicotinoids here:

Image of Professor Hans de Kroon in a field
The insecticides are also killing insects, giving birds not enough food to eat. The results could be negative to the effects on the food chain if we don’t stop using neonicotinoids, especially on farmland. In Canada, Nature Canada is working on solving this problem. We've partnered with the University of Manitoba and York University and local naturalist groups to tag and monitor populations of Purple Martin birds. Nature Canada's Purple Martin Project will hopefully help us understand what role, if any, neonicotinoids have on other species. Click here to learn more.

This is a guest blog post by Courtenay Bettinger, a Nature Canada summer student.

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