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

Light Weight Tracking Technology Could Help Reveal Mysteries of Golden-wing Decline
Conserve Golden-Wings

Light Weight Tracking Technology Could Help Reveal Mysteries of Golden-wing Decline

Audubon and partners across the South and Midwest are using radio tags to track a rare songbird.

Audubon Statement on Wilmington East Offshore Wind Leases
Media Releases

Audubon Statement on Wilmington East Offshore Wind Leases

— We're encouraged to see bird tracking technology included as a requirement in future leases.
For one Yancey County Couple, Art and Land Stewardship Converge
Working Lands

For one Yancey County Couple, Art and Land Stewardship Converge

How a renowned artist with a global reach is turning his attention to his own backyard through Audubon’s Working Lands program.

Audubon North Carolina Releases 2022 Policy Agenda
News

Audubon North Carolina Releases 2022 Policy Agenda

Building on momentum from 2021, we'll be speaking up for bipartisan policy solutions to protect birds and people.

Audubon Guidelines for Responsible Offshore Wind Energy in North Carolina
Climate

Audubon Guidelines for Responsible Offshore Wind Energy in North Carolina

Our state has huge offshore wind energy potential. We want to make sure the industry grows in ways that protect birds and fight climate change.

Audubon Statement: Climate and Equity Executive Order Builds on Bipartisan Energy Bill
Climate

Audubon Statement: Climate and Equity Executive Order Builds on Bipartisan Energy Bill

— Gov. Cooper’s Executive Order 246 provides important next steps for North Carolina clean energy transition.
How Bottomland Forests Help Birds and People
Working Lands

How Bottomland Forests Help Birds and People

Audubon and our partners are helping landowners be better stewards of their low-lying hardwood forests, a threatened habitat that supports wildlife and people.

North Carolina Passes Major Bipartisan Climate Bill
Climate

North Carolina Passes Major Bipartisan Climate Bill

— House Bill 951 requires deep cuts to carbon emissions on a timetable that will help reduce the worst impacts of climate change for birds and people.
Healthy Forests Mean Healthy Diets for Hungry Songbirds on the Move
Forestry In Action

Healthy Forests Mean Healthy Diets for Hungry Songbirds on the Move

Bird-friendly forestry helps Tennessee Warblers on both sides of their migration journeys.

A Guide to Fall Migration in the Mountains and Piedmont
Working Lands

A Guide to Fall Migration in the Mountains and Piedmont

Migration season has arrived, and NC’s mountain birds are on the move!

How you can help, right now