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Midwest CASC Regional Administrator Olivia LeDee discusses the challenges facing migratory birds in the United States on Minnesota Public Radio. 

About one half of migratory species around the globe are declining and one out of five are at risk of extinction, according to a United Nation’s report on the state of migratory species. In a recent interview on Minnesota Public Radio, Olivia LeDee, the Regional Administrator of the Midwest CASC, spoke about the challenges facing many species of migratory birds in the United States. 

“Sometimes we can’t do anything directly to mediate increased temperatures or changes in precipitation. But we know that we can manage the land to offset some of those changes,” LeDee said in the interview. 

Climate change is causing earlier springs which can prompt premature migrations and lead to timing mismatches between birds and the emergence of insect and plant food resources, as well as disruptions to their nesting patterns. These disruptions don’t only occur where the birds breed. For example, habitat loss and disturbances on non-breeding grounds along the Gulf Coast threaten species like the Great Lakes Piping Plover, and fragmentation and land-use changes in the Midwest threaten grassland birds like the Western Meadowlark. 

Midwest CASC science offers a better understanding of changing habitat connectivity and other threats that migratory species face along their routes which can help wildlife managers in Minnesota prepare for the spring arrival of migratory species. 

Listen or read the original interview called “UN report outlines global threats to migratory species: What about Minnesota birds?” on Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer. 

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