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Tuesday, January 30 • 3:20pm - 3:40pm
FOREST & GRASSLAND SONGBIRDS: Global Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Diminishes Climate Change Vulnerability of Grassland Birds in North America

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AUTHORS. Chad Wilsey, National Audubon Society; Lotem Taylor, National Audubon Society; Arvind Pinjabi, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies; Gary M Langham, National Audubon Society

ABSTRACT. For more than 40 years, grassland birds in North America have been in decline due largely to land conversion. However, the highest North American climate change velocities are predicted for the Great Plains, making climate change an emerging threat. We assessed that threat using a model-based, climate change vulnerability assessment of 35 grassland bird species under greenhouse gas reduction commitments in the Paris Agreement. We found that 63% of North American grassland bird species have moderate to high vulnerability to climate change under the Agreement, but that this could be reduced to 40% with further emissions reductions. Therefore, continued policy actions to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions are urgently needed to protect this suite of grassland birds in addition to continuing government-funded and market-based grasslands conservation schemes.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 3:20pm - 3:40pm CST