Today in my corner of the world, we have rain. Last week at this time we had 90+ degrees f. I wore as little as I could get away with and had every fan in the house pointed at me. After a very hot summer, we are hearing rumors of an El Nino condition. And we have had those before, but somehow intelligent people are a little more concerned these days about the odd weather patterns.
Science Guy Bill Nye thinks lots of people issues will get much worse as the weather changes. http://www.weather.com/health/news/bill-nye-says-climate-change-biggest-health-issue So what is this doing to the animals and especially the birds of the planet?
The Carolina parakeet’s extinction was not climate related, but not a high point in human history.
A small bit of concern in the United States is that climate change is sending state birds to find better places to live. http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/urgentissues/global-warming-climate-change/threats-impacts/wildlife-at-risk.xml Imagine Baltimore without an oriole in sight.
Say goodbye to Australia’s golden shouldered parrot. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150430-extinction-climate-warming-animals-species-conservation-wildlife/ Globally, one in eight bird species is on the brink or in freefall toward extinction. Much of this is triggered by loss of habitat, a place to live and breed. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140825-bird-environment-chemical-contaminant-climate-change-science-winged-warning/
At the same time, some parrots are adapting to climate change. Studies show some Australian parrots have larger beaks then their ancestors did. Beaks are used to radiate out some body heat in birds. https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/australian-parrots-beaks-and-global-warming/
A dim light on the horizon is that some parrot species are making themselves at home in new countries where the climate is now more like their homelands and food is abundant enough. But will it be enough to keep parrots from facing extinction?
I don’t think we can save all the birds, all the animals, and I don’t know how many we should save. We need to do something, but I would like to see more done for clean water around the world, free birth control for all who want it, and laptops as well as cell phones distributed widely so that everyone will have the same access to world events and some education sites.
If we fix ourselves, maybe we can fix our home planet. And good things do happen. Ten years ago, in 2005, Swedish millionaire Johan Eliasch scooped up 400,000 acres of the Amazon rain forest just to keep it out of the hands of loggers. European authorities are working with African states to confiscate and return African Grey parrots that were wild caught. These birds will be released into the wild once they are deemed to be in good shape. And organizations like World Parrot Trust http://www.parrots.org/projects and Audubon https://www.audubon.org/magazine/march-april-2012/parrot-conservation-changes-catholic are making headway against unbelievable odds.
In your own yard, plant trees and flowering plants that are helpful to birds and bees. Whenever possible, support your favorite conservation organization. And have a happy and safe El Nino.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.