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Allen’s Hummingbird Photo: Tony Britton/Audubon Photography Awards

Back to Projected Impacts

Climate change will exacerbate existing threats

Extreme weather events are projected to increase in intensity and frequency, which will likely have negative impacts on many species. Climate change will also increase the severity of existing threats, for example, by increasing the frequency of fires or by facilitating the spread of disease or invasive species.

  • Case Study 1

    Extreme weather will lead to more frequent mass mortality in European Shags

    Extreme weather events are projected to cause more frequent mass mortality for European Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) with increased rainfall and onshore wind causing mass mortality ‘wrecks.’ Population models show the potential negative impacts of increasingly variable weather, with an increased likelihood of population extinction.

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    Extreme weather will lead to more frequent mass mortality in European Shags

    European Shag Photo: Pragr

  • Case Study 2

    Climate change will increase the likelihood of catastrophic bird mortality events during extreme heat waves

    Severe heat waves, which occasionally kill large numbers of birds in hot desert environments, are predicted to increase in intensity, frequency, and duration. Hotter temperatures will substantially increase water requirements and reduce survival time, particularly for small birds. This is projected to occur much more frequently by the 2080s, thus increasing the frequency of catastrophic mortality events.

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  • Case Study 3

    The threat of Avian malaria will increase for Hawaiian birds

    Climate change is likely to reduce the area of malaria-free habitat for endemic birds threatened by introduced diseases in Hawaii, as the projected lifting of the cloud-base shifts the malaria risk zone to higher altitudes.

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    The threat of Avian malaria will increase for Hawaiian birds

    Palila Photo: Jack Jeffrey

  • Case Study 4

    South-East Asian forest birds will decline due to climate change and deforestation

    Climate change and deforestation produce double jeopardy for endemic South-East Asian forest birds such as the White-eared Myza (Myza sarasinorum), with distributions projected to decline by 19-42% and population sizes by 19-62%. Lowland species will be hit hardest by deforestation, whereas climate change is the dominant threat for montane species.

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