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New Report Shows Climate Change Isn't For The Birds

Audubon Great Lakes
Scarlet Tanager

A new report says there’s a bird emergency in the air – climate change could eradicate two-thirds of the bird species now prevalent in Ohio by the end of this century. 

The Policy Director for Audubon Great Lakes, Marnie Urso, says its new reportshows many birds are threatened by warmer weather, changing rainfall patterns and more intense storms. She says that includes the red-headed woodpecker, wood thrush and a striking songbird.

“The scarlet tanager which is a bright beautiful bird you find in the forest that breeds here in the summer – 91% of its range is potentially going to be lost if we don’t act now.”

The report shows two-thirds of North Americacn birds are at risk of extinction. Audubon scientists studied more than 600 North American bird species using 140 million bird records, including observational data from bird lovers and field biologists throughout the country.

Scientists say birds are an important indicator species because if an ecosystem can't support birds, it is often unfit for people too.

The report says keeping down global temperatures could help three quarters of those threatened birds. Urso says the key to preventing the extinction is to rely more on clean energy, reduce carbon pollution and protect wetlands.

Contact Jo Ingles at