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More Birds Expected for Majority of National Parks-Here’s Why

For this post, I will be discussing another national geographic article titled, “More Birds Expected for Majority of National Parks-Here’s Why”. This article talk about an influx of migratory birds that is occurring at national parks in the United States. From an environmental standpoint, this influx may seem like a beneficial thing, but it is not. Factors such as climate change and the destruction of habitat are causing birds to have fewer living options while causing their populations to condense into smaller areas. This is good news for bird watchers but a bad sign for the state of our environment. Since birds have wings and can easily migrate over long distances, they require a large habitat to survive. With the rapid destruction of habitat for human use, national parks are becoming the only areas in which birds can live. The ability of birds to migrate per temperature and weather conditions also allows them to be a good indicator species on climate. For example, when a large storm is on the way, it is common to find birds flying in the opposite direction. This is occurring in a much larger scale in correlation with global warming from climate change.

The article states that birds are so sensitive to climate that many bird species are starting to disappear completely from areas that were previously within their migratory ranges. This is seen in Desert Bird Species like the cactus wren, Gambel’s Quail, and Gila woodpeckers which are starting to migrate to areas like Yosemite National Park. Birds are migrating to colder northern areas where they can tolerate the temperature; which shows clear proof that climate change is causing an overall warming of the planet. Research done by avian Biologist Joanna Wu, shows that some birds found in colder areas may even stop migrating south completely if the winters become warm enough in which they can tolerate the local conditions.

To protect bird species, it is more important now than ever to protect our national parks. In parks where no new bird species are appearing, yet it is important to maintain the current bird species by prioritizing habitat restoration and invasive species removal. This will allow for the species of birds that are currently living in those locations to be more resilient and adaptive to a change in climate. In turn, this will keep the birds from increasing the populations of new areas by remaining where they are. In parks that are already expecting a large influx of new bird species, a different strategy must be put into effect. Since an abundance of species is showing up in the same areas, competition for space and resources will greatly increase in the future. This can lead to the complete extinction of many birds that are found today. In order to prevent this, we need to expand the habitat available for birds and maintain the biodiversity of plant and animal species that inhabit them. The migration of birds to new areas is a clear sign that the Earth’s climate is changing. If we cannot stop this climate change as a whole, we must at least attempt to help species that are being affected before it is too late.


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