BTO work on climate change can be divided into three main areas:
- Documenting the impacts of climate change on biodiversity
- Developing and using approaches for predicting future impacts of climate change to identify the most vulnerable species and habitats
- Improving the evidence base to inform how conservation needs to adapt to climate change
Although much of our work has a UK bird focus, we also work internationally and on other taxa.
Our best assessment shows that failure to meet net-zero carbon risks the UK losing almost 90% of its breeding Puffins by 2050. You can help us continue research into one of the most pressing drivers of change in our natural world.
Species- or habitat- based assessments of vulnerability to climate change? Informing climate change adaptation in special protection areas for birds in England
In this paper, two approaches commonly adopted by Natural England for climate change vulnerability assessments were used to assess the vulnerability to climate change of Special Protection Areas...
Spatially targeted nature-based solutions can mitigate climate change and nature loss but require a systems approach
Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is one of the greatest challenges humankind is currently facing. A growing coalition of countries are now pledging to achieve net zero emissions, which means...
Avian responses to climate extremes: insights into abundance curves and species sensitivity using the UK Breeding Bird Survey
Climate change is one of the major threats to species conservation. Biological responses to climate change include shifts in species distribution, behavioural and physiological changes. However, many...
Anthropogenic climate and land-use change drive short-and long-term biodiversity shifts across taxa
This collaborative research involving BTO attempted to start understanding how habitat change and climate change interact. The study examined changes in over 1,000 bird, butterfly, moth and plant...
Climate change and migratory species: a review of impacts, conservation actions, indicators and ecosystem services.
Part 1 documents a review of literature which was carried out to identify the impacts of climate change on each group of migratory species listed on CMS Appendix I and Appendix II. A range of...
Future impact of climate change on threatened seabirds
New BTO research predicts seabird declines of up to 90% by 2050 in Britain and Ireland under a ‘business as usual’ climate scenario.
Linking climate warming and land conversion to species’ range changes across Great Britain
The most notable changes over the past 75 years have been an increase in temperature and a loss of roughly 90% of lowland meadow and pasture, mainly converted to arable farmland and improved...
Combining remote sensing and tracking data to quantify species’ cumulative exposure to anthropogenic change
The results showed that although the actual amount of change had been greatest on the breeding grounds, cumulative exposure to changes in direct mortality risk and climate were...
Local colonisations and extinctions of European birds are poorly explained by changes in climate suitability
Can Cuckoos adapt their clocks to climate change?
Cuckoos aren’t returning to the UK earlier, even as spring advances – but why? BTO research reveals new insights into the timing of this species’ migratory cycle.
Ecological barriers limit the ability of birds to respond to climate change
A changing climate places pressure on individuals, species and communities, forcing them to either adapt to changing conditions or move to where conditions remain favourable. If they are unable to...
Landscape fires disproportionally affect areas of conservation priority but only under low moisture conditions
This study identified five fires reaching more than 100 km2, a threshold often used to classify ‘megafires’. Frequent spring and summer fires predominantly started in agricultural areas, where...
The impacts of farming activities on Europe’s breeding birds
Using the most comprehensive dataset of its kind, this study explores the drivers of population change in European birds.
What role do protected areas play in bird conservation?
The UK has many different kinds of protected area, but how effective are they for bird conservation?
Are the declines of birds and invertebrates linked by climate change?
Many of the detected effects of climate change on biodiversity have occurred through impacts on food chains. We know that many birds are insectivorous during the breeding season, and various studies...
Ringing and Nest Record Scheme data suggest weather is a better predictor of Swift breeding success than the availability of insect prey
Research reveals why Willow Warblers breeding in different parts of Britain are affected by climate change in different ways.
How BTO data are driving positive change for UK birds
Professor Juliet Vickery addresses the challenge of tackling conservation issues and how BTO data make a difference.
Dragons and damsels
You can submit your dragonfly and damselfly sightings to BTO via BirdTrack or Garden BirdWatch. Find out why these records are so important in Rob Jaques' blog.
A tale of two warblers
Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) results show very different population trends for Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff - but what is driving this difference? BTO research reveals climate is key.
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.
The carbon footprint of biodiversity monitoring
Whilst it is essential that we have accurate information about how wildlife is faring in this changing world, we also need to be mindful of the carbon footprint generated by monitoring activities.
A just transition to renewable energy
BTO's Aonghais Cook discusses the challenges associated with an environmentally sensitive, socially just transition to global renewable power.
BTO travels to Europe!
BTO travels to key conferences in Europe to share research and experience with colleagues from around the globe.