The Future for Neotropical Migrants

Hooded Warbler - Photo Alan Schmierer

Our friends at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have released a study on the combined effects of climate change and habitat loss for the future of birds. In particular, the study looked at both summer and winter habitats for 21 species that breed in the eastern US and winter in Central or South America. The Cornell Lab cites two major conclusions (broadly consistent with those of Audubon’s ground-breaking study from 2014) :

  • Over the next few decades, already-declining populations of study species may become even more vulnerable on their wintering grounds because of human-caused habitat loss.
  • By the end of this century, expected changes in rainfall and temperature may reduce available habitat and food on wintering grounds even further, threatening the birds’ ability to survive.

The results are broadly consistent with those of Audubon’s ground-breaking study from 2014.

The Cornell Lab has released a easily-readable summary of the study. It’s available on the All About Birds Web site.