Final report released: Climate change adaptation strategies for Australian birds

This final report details research funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility that identifies Australian water birds likely to face strong challenges or extinction from climate change and recommends key actions to secure and manage vulnerable regions for the future. In the first analysis of the effects of climate change, researchers identified 101 Australian terrestrial and inland water bird taxa likely to be entirely gone by 2085, 16 marine taxa with breeding sites predicted to be at least 10% less productive than today, and 55 terrestrial taxa likely to be exposed to more frequent or intense fires.

For in situ management, the most important actions will be those that are already important – fire management, weed and feral animal control and, for marine taxa, controls on fishing. A small number of species-specific actions are suggested, and there appears to be no urgent requirement for corridors for the maintenance of taxa likely to be threatened with extinction – those few taxa not already living in areas where there are likely to be refugia will require assistance to colonise new climate space.

The cost of management over the next 50 years for persistence in the face of climate change of the 396 bird taxa that are very highly exposed, sensitive or both is estimated at $18.8 million per year – $47,700 per year for each taxon. The biggest ongoing costs are monitoring and direct species management but refugia management and captive breeding may eventually be needed, and will be much more expensive.

View the final report

This photo is copyright © 2010 0ystercatcher, Flickr Creative Commons

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