BTO produces new climate change report

BTO produces new climate change report

04 Nov 2021

Puffin. Mike Toms

A new report, published by BTO during COP26, highlights how climate change is already impacting the UK’s birds.

The work, led by BTO’s Director of Science Dr James Pearce-Higgins, reveals how our internationally important breeding seabird populations and unique assemblage of upland breeding birds are already negatively affected, and appear most vulnerable to future change. Overall, a quarter of our breeding species appear to be negatively affected, and a quarter may be responding positively; the remaining breeding species that have been studied appear relatively unaffected by climate change. There are, however, significant gaps in our knowledge for other species, notably our wintering bird populations.

Importantly, the report also examines the potential impacts of climate change mitigation measures, such as increasing the numbers of wind farms or planting thousands of trees to capture carbon. This section of the report highlights the vulnerability of species that occupy open upland habitats, which may be occupied by new woodland, and some seabirds, such as Kittiwake, vulnerable to wind turbines.

The report uses data from BTO’s long-term monitoring schemes, together with peer-reviewed publications, to assess UK birds and their responses to both a changing climate and our attempts to mitigate its effects.

Read the report

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