Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report, released in 2014, shows that 314 species of North American birds will lose more than 50 percent of their current climatic range by 2080. Audubon scientists drew on three decades of citizen-scientist observations from the Audubon Christmas Bird Count and the North American Breeding Bird Survey to define “climatic suitability” for each bird species—the range of temperatures, precipitation, and seasonal changes each species needs to survive. Then, using internationally recognized greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, they mapped where each bird’s ideal climatic range may be found in the future as the climate changes.
Your participation in Climate Watch provides Audubon scientists with data on the current distribution of target species that can be used to validate and refine our models for where these species’ ranges will shift under the effects of climate change. As we ground-truth these models and confirm and improve their accuracy we will use them to identify areas of high climatic suitability for target species and to inform on-the-ground conservation decisions.