Climate Change Appeal
The UK risks losing almost 90% of its breeding Puffins by 2050
UK bird communities could be altered significantly by climate change. Iconic and vulnerable species such as our beloved Puffin, Kittiwake, Curlew and Cuckoo could be significantly affected. We risk a world where future generations won’t know these fantastic birds unless key decision makers take urgent action, informed by evidence. Our best assessment, documented in a new report, shows that failure to meet net zero carbon risks the UK losing over one million individual Puffins.
We can’t stand by and let this happen
It’s evident that poorly planned mitigations can have unintended negative consequences for birds and other wildlife. Making decisions in a changing climate will require robust evidence if we are to assess potential benefits and trade-offs between different options. We will also need consistent monitoring, like our core surveys, if we are to assess the effectiveness of different policies.
Identifying issues and investigating causes of decline
In response to warming, the timing of breeding attempts and migration has on average, across species, become earlier – a trend that was first detected in the BTO/JNCC Nest Record Scheme data. Warming appears to be having significant effects on birds globally. Tellingly, global population declines have been greatest where warming has been most rapid.
There is growing evidence that conservation action can help species adapt to climate change but action without careful assessment could have disastrous effects on our birds.James Pearce-Higgins, BTO Director of Science
Data is the key to progress
BTO runs one of the most comprehensive long-term data banks for investigating patterns of change in the UK’s wildlife. Without these data, providing evidence of the real world effects of climate change, which acts over decades not days, would be impossible. Our monitoring and research are fundamental to challenging policy makers and governments to make the changes needed to reduce the impacts of climate change and pull our most iconic species back from the brink.
Make a donation today
Donations to BTO are vital to our work because they allow our scientists to address the most important threats that our birds face, bringing into the spotlight the truth about the most pressing drivers of change in our natural world.
Please donate to BTO today so we can continue our long running monitoring and research. This work is essential if, together, we are to play our part fully in the fight against climate change.Donate today
Climate change is already affecting the UK's birds
An increasing body of research demonstrates the impacts of climate change on bird species across the globe, revealing a range of responses.
Sustainability and citizen science: estimating the carbon footprint of the Breeding Bird Survey
BTO Data Scientist Simon Gillings explores the results of BTO's investigation into the carbon footprint of biodiversity monitoring.