BURLINGTON, VT- On Thursday, the National Audubon Society released a groundbreaking report, Survival by Degrees:389 Bird Species on the Brink. According to the new report, two thirds of America’s birds are at risk for extinction because of climate change.
The National Audubon Society is a bird conservation group that protects birds and where they live through science and education.
Scientists studied 604 bird species in North America using 140 million bird records. In Vermont 199 bird species were assessed and 50 percent of them are considered at risk of extinction.
So, what does this mean for people?
David Mears is the Executive Director for Audubon Vermont and he believes that without birds humans can’t survive.
“It turns out that when we protect birds we protect most of the things that people need. Clean air clean water healthy forests rivers ponds. All the things that birds need are what people need and when we start to loose bird population it means that all of those resources are at risk for us,” said Mears.
On Thursday, Audubon Vermont held an event at the University of Vermont to discuss the findings. Audubon employees, professors and students were in attendance.
Henry Freundlach is a senior at the University of Vermont. He is the president of UVM’s new Audubon club based off of the National Audubon Society.
“In lieu of this report it’s clear that they are in decline and there are aspects that we need to change and act on and that their loves are saved and how that directly plays into us and what we are doing,” said Freundlach.
David Mears says this report shows if we take action now we can avoid some the worst impacts of climate change on birds. He said we need to do things like have good energy efficiency policies and we need good renewable non- fossil fuel type energy.
Although there are many things we can all do, Mears and Henry say it’s up to the next generation.
“Being young people we are the ones that are directly taking the blunt of all the climatic conditions and environmental circumstances that we all face now and will face going forward. What we work on now is framing for the lives of our future and our future children,” said Freundlach.
For more information on the study and to find out birds in danger near you click here.