Little Rock, AR (6/1/2017)—“Arkansas’s birds need us now more than ever,” according to Brett Kincaid, Executive Director for Audubon Arkansas. Kincaid was responding to news that President Donald Trump announced the United States would back out of its commitment with 197 nations to reduce carbon emissions worldwide. “Climate change is the number one threat to birds,“ Kincaid continued. “We now face a much more difficult challenge protecting the birds we know and love.”
In 2014, Audubon scientists published the Birds and Climate Change Report, which describes how climatic suitability for 314 species of North American birds are shifting and shrinking to the point where these species may disappear from their current ranges by 2080. Species include our national symbol, the Bald Eagle, and other birds like the Baltimore Oriole, Eastern Whip-por-will and Brown Pelican we know and love to extinction.
“The science is settled, the solutions are plentiful and birds tell us we need to act on climate right now to avoid catastrophe," said Dr. Gary Langham (@garylangham), Audubon's chief scientist and lead author of the Birds and Climate Change Report. "The sad alternative is a future with less birdsong and more regret."
In response to the alarming findings of the Birds and Climate Change Report, Audubon Arkansas has been engaging its members and supporters, including Republicans, Independents and Democrats, to advocate for increased energy efficiency, common sense renewable energy promotion, and on the ground habitat conservation focused on protecting Arkansas’s native prairies.
“Scrapping the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership in the fight against the biggest threat facing people and birds,” said David Yarnold (@david_yarnold), Audubon’s president and CEO, in response to the White House's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, the world's most ambitious greenhouse gas-reduction agreement to date.
“Our kids and grandkids are the losers in this misguided decision. So are 314 species of birds that Audubon already knows are at risk because of climate change. We don't believe that's what Americans voted for in November."
Audubon Arkansas is the state chapter of the National Audubon Society. Through science, education, and advocacy - we work across the state to preserve habitat and protect bird species that are of state, national and global concern; and we identify and support Important Bird Areas (IBAs), a hallmark of Audubon’s efforts worldwide. By building creative public-private alliances, engaging diverse audiences and promoting investment in a sustainable economy, we are shaping a brighter future for Arkansas. Learn more at ar.audubon.org.
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.