We are bombarded with data and sometimes I believe we become indifferent toward predictions and warnings. When it comes to the loss of birds in our environment we do so at our peril. “Birds are important indicator species because if an ecosystem is broken for birds, it is or soon will be for people, too,” according to Brooke Bateman, a senior climate scientist for the National Audubon Society.
We learned earlier this year that North America has already lost one-third of its bird population. For bird-lovers this is tragic and the future looks grimmer. New data points toward an even more frightening future. Audubon scientists studied 604 North American bird species using 140 million bird records from the US, Canada, and Mexico. The results of that study revealed that by 2021 two-thirds of America’s birds will be threatened with extinction if temperatures rise by 5.4 degrees.
Birds on this planet are like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. They can only warn us. It is up to us limit greenhouse gases and to see to it that our government protects the environment before it is too late.