New study finds area birds at risk of extinction

Sep 15, 2014

A new study released by the National Audubon Society finds that some birds found in Western New York are at risk of extinction due to global warming.

Credit Kelly Colgan Azar / Some Rights Reserved

Buffalo Audubon Society Executive Director Loren Smith says all animals require specific temperature climates to live. He says if global warming continues on its current trajectory, the birds will be forced to find new places to live and adapt.

“They may not be able to find conditions that provide food, shelter and other resources that they may need. global warming is going to have such a significant impact in habitats around the world that these birds may not be able to find places where they can eat, breathe, reproduce and survive,” said Smith.

The seven-year study of birds in North America finds that of 588 bird species examined, 314 are at risk of extinction if global warming continues on its current trajectory. The species at risk and found locally include the Baltimore Oriole, Bobolink, Scarlett Tanager and Wood Duck.

Smith says he believes people have to act quickly in order to avoid the disappearance of the birds.

“There is some very simple things that people can do in their own backyards in terms of making bird friendly yards by removing invasive species, not using pesticides, which kill insects and other food items, letting dead trees stand or installing a bird bath. You can meet with local decision makers and make sure that they understand that global warming is important for birds, wildlife, and for people, and that we need to be doing things now to mitigate the impact of climate change,” said Smith.

Smith says it’s not just birds that are at risk due to climate change. He says birds are a signal that other wildlife, plants and animals are also at risk.