Projected Impacts of Future Climate on Bird Conservation in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions

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Tens of millions of migratory birds are dependent on wetland and riparian stopovers in arid and semiarid regions of North America. Global climate change would superimpose even greater stress on these ecosystems as indicated by climate change model predictions of higher temperatures and less precipitation in the southwestern United States. In partnership with the University of Arizona, the Nebra...

Tens of millions of migratory birds are dependent on wetland and riparian stopovers in arid and semiarid regions of North America. Global climate change would superimpose even greater stress on these ecosystems as indicated by climate change model predictions of higher temperatures and less precipitation in the southwestern United States. In partnership with the University of Arizona, the Nebraska Cooperative Research Unit, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USGS scientists have investigated (1) how climate change may alter the spacing and quality of critical wetland stopover habitats; (2) the sensitivities of migrating songbirds to loss of riparian forests due to climate change and water-use patterns; (3) and the relative sensitivity to climate change of guilds of wetland birds. An integrated avian database was developed with information from 30+ collaborators studying avian migration along four major river systems in the desert southwest.