Coastal Stronghold

Photo: Claudio Dias Timm/FlickrCC

While songbirds and other landbirds are expected to be impacted by warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns associated with climate change, sea level rise may prove a greater threat to waterfowl and shorebirds. The Coastal Stronghold includes portions of existing Important Bird Areas likely to be impacted by sea level rise in the next 30 years. Rising seas can harm coastal birds by accelerating erosion at inlets and islands that are important for shorebirds and by submerging marsh habitat required by waterfowl. Also, building sea walls, terminal groins and other hardened structures reduces the potential for bird habitat to move upslope in response to sea level rise and puts shorebirds in further jeopardy. Protecting important coastal habitat from development, promoting living shorelines for birds and restoring marshland for waterfowl in areas like Currituck Sound are key priorities for Audubon.

Coastal Stronghold

Key climate-threatened birds and habitat “guilds”

Climate-threatened birds can be grouped according to the type of habitat that they prefer.  This coastal stronghold provides existing suitable habitat for birds threatened by climate change and sea level rise, including key birds listed below.

Marsh species:

Seashore species:

   

Key Conservation Partners

Government: National Park Service, National Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Carolina State Parks, North Carolina Forest Service, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Division of Soil & Water Conservation, North Carolina Coastal Reserve Program, Currituck County, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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

Local Land Trusts: North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, Bald Head Island Conservancy, Northeast New Hanover Conservancy

Blue Ridge Mountains_akshay_flickr_CC

Blue Ridge Mountains Photo: Akshay/Flickr CC

How you can help climate-threatened coastal 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 coastal 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 effect of climate change on birds, which includes recruiting others with a hopeful, solutions-oriented message.
  3. Become an Audubon Beach Bird Steward. Help protect coastal birds and ensure populations are large enough to survive changes in the climate and sea level rise.
  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.

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