Mountain Climate Stronghold

Pisgah Natl Forest. Photo: Jeff Gunn/Flickr CC

As one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are a biodiversity hotspot and contain one of the largest, most important climate strongholds for birds. Significant elevation changes, complex terrain and associated rain and snow conditions support birds with diverse climate requirements in this area. This includes birds that require deciduous forest, high elevation and open/agricultural habitat conditions. Audubon’s climate models predict that many songbird species will migrate from other parts of the state into the mountains in search of cooler, wetter conditions. Protecting land in the mountains, ensuring forests are managed in a bird-friendly way and growing native plants in mountain towns and cities, are key priorities for Audubon in this area.

Mountain Climate Stronghold

Key climate-threatened birds and habitat “guilds"

Climate-threatened birds can be grouped according to the type of habitat that they prefer.  This climate stronghold is likely to include suitable habitat and climate conditions for many birds threatened by climate change, including key birds listed below.

Deciduous forest species:

High-elevation species:

Open/agricultural land species:

Key Conservation Partners

Government: National Park Service, National Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, North Carolina State Parks, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Forest Service, North Carolina Division of Soil & Water Conservation

National & State NGOs: The Nature Conservancy, The Conservation Fund, Conservation Trust for North Carolina

Local Land Trusts: Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, Blue Ridge Conservancy, New River Conservancy, Piedmont Land Conservancy

Blue Ridge Mountains_akshay_flickr_CC

Blue Ridge Mountains Photo: Akshay/Flickr CC

How you can help climate-threatened birds

  1. Sign up for Audubon North Carolina’s action alerts. Find out when state lawmakers are making important decisions that will impact protection of climate strongholds and other natural areas in the state. Click here to join.
  2. Become an Audubon Ambassador. Audubon Ambassadors are volunteers working with state staff, Audubon chapters, and local communities to spread the word about the effects of climate change on birds, which includes recruiting others with a hopeful, solutions-oriented message.
  3. Grow native plants. Your yard and the plants in it can make a big difference for wildlife. Growing native plants provides critical food and shelter for birds to survive and thrive in the face of climate change.
  4. Are you a birder? Help Audubon refine and improve our climate modeling by participating in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count and Climate Watch. Your participation will help us continue to refine our climate models and prioritize actions to protect birds.

News & Updates

"No Plastic Picnic" Wipes Out Waste
Bird-Friendly Communities

"No Plastic Picnic" Wipes Out Waste!

At Mecklenburg Audubon Society's annual picnic, members ditched plastic utensils, disposable bags, and straws in favor of plates and cups from home.

Old Homestead Seeds Change
GWWA Conservation - Working Lands

Old Homestead Seeds Change

"Since I’ve owned my property I’ve been looking for ways to benefit wildlife," explains Broadwell. "I want to make it a more interesting and attractive place for myself and the animals that depend on it."

Land Trust Property Certified As Bird-Friendly Habitat
Forest Landbird Legacy Program

Land Trust Property Certified As Bird-Friendly Habitat

Audubon North Carolina is happy to officially recognize the LandTrust for Central NC’s Low Water Bridge property in Montgomery County as a Certified Forest Landbird Legacy Habitat.

Expanding Bird-Friendly Renewable Energy
Advocacy

Expanding Bird-Friendly Renewable Energy

Responsibly sited wind, solar and other renewable energy resources can help ensure the protection of our birds by providing cleaner air and water, and lessening the impact of pollution on the places birds need.

Biodiversity Brings New Birds Home
Forest Landbird Legacy Program

Biodiversity Brings New Birds Home

In this series, we profile local landowners to share all the amazing and exciting ways various properties can be enhanced to support struggling populations of priority bird species.

Forestry for the Birds
Forestry Trainings

Upcoming Events: Forestry for the Birds

Foresters, landowners, natural resources professionals and more are invited to attend our bird-friendly forestry trainings!

FAQs: Forest Management for Birds
Working Lands

FAQ: Forest Management Through Working Lands

FAQs for managing and improving your land to benefit birds.

52 Actions to Support Birds in 2018
Advocacy

52 Actions to Support Birds in 2018

The birds you love are counting on you to raise your voice and recruit friends! Commit to a weekly action this year and make sure our birds stay resilient in 2018.

Readying for Winter at Cane Creek Reservoir
Working Lands

Readying for Winter at Cane Creek Reservoir

Audubon North Carolina biologist Aimee Tomcho joined the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary for Orange Water And Sewer Authority’s Community Open House at the Cane Creek Reservoir.

Restoring 200 Acres for Golden-winged Warblers
Forest Landbird Legacy Program

Restoring 200 Acres for Golden-winged Warblers

A 50 acre restoration project by these landowners could mean 10 new Golden-winged Warbler territories (and possibly 10 new nests annually!)

How you can help, right now