26 October 2014

Bye-Bye Birds

We're not talking about just spring that could be silent.

Pesticides threatened bird species, and Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring. Global warming threatens birds on a whole other level by stripping them of habitat, and to communicate the issue, the Audubon Society has released a great new Web site. The site details and articulates how global warming is impacting bird species in the United States. It also contains interactive features and collaborative content.

Using data compiled with the help of citizen science, the site provides visuals of ways global warming affects bird habitat. It spotlights certain species and gives people the chance to see the impacts on their local area. (For instance, it was sad to see that the ruffed grouse, one of my favorite birds, is likely to leave the region of Washington state where I grew up.) Another cool aspect of the site is that it contains content that others have produced in response to the Audubon Society's report, expanding the conversation about the issue. Finally, the site also provides ways to help address global warming.

Perhaps the most startling part of the Web site is the information that 314 of the country's bird species are severely threatened by global warming. Considering that fact, it's vital we put this puzzle together and address global warming soon.

It's either that or we'll be forced to get used to the sounds of silence.