With more than three billion breeding birds lost since 19701, Bird Rescue’s hands-on work to rescue birds in crisis has never been more important. Climate change exacerbates already existing threats to birds, such as habitat loss and degradation, while adding new challenges. These threats pose an ever-growing danger to birds in a changing world.
International Bird Rescue recognizes that climate change is a scientific fact and that recent rapid changes in global climate since the industrial revolution are the result of human activity. This is supported by overwhelming evidence and the consensus of the scientific community. We have witnessed the effects of climate change first-hand as they have brought thousands of birds into our care. Just as humans have affected this crisis, evidence suggests we can make efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change.
We recognize that the effects of climate change include ocean warming, sea level rise, and more severe weather events (including droughts, heat waves, and increasing storm intensity).
Climate change impacts aquatic birds in many ways, including:
- Range contractions and shifts (e.g., vagrant birds)
- Changes in behavior (such as the timing of breeding and migration)
- Disruption of species populations and breeding communities
- Change in access to food
- Habitat loss and degradation
- Increasing numbers of storm–battered birds
- Human-wildlife conflicts, and
- Exacerbation of other threats and stresses, such as disease.
How is International Bird Rescue responding to climate change?
International Bird Rescue is on the front-line of response to climate change, working to mitigate impacts by:
- Conducting research to monitor and analyze the impacts of climate change on aquatic birds
- Rescuing birds that have been unable to find enough food
- Treating previously unseen diseases caused by warmer waters
- Implementing sustainable operating practices to reduce our carbon footprint
- Inspiring and training the next generation of wildlife rehabilitators, researchers and emergency responders
- Sharing our knowledge to promote environmental stewardship
What Can You Do To Help?
- Help us stay at the front-line of response by donating today, or by volunteering your time
- Avoid single use plastics
- Consume sustainably sourced seafood
- Learn to recognize when wildlife is in distress and know who to contact for help
- Practice and encourage respectful behavior around wildlife
- Encourage your government representatives to protect wetland habitats
- Rosenberg, K. V. et al. 2019. Decline of the North American Avifauna. Science 365(6461). doi: 10.1126/science.aaw1313