The colorful Australian King Parrot is worn out completely. The journey of life has become arduous. This strikingly beautiful bird is desperately looking for clear water to drink and a green place to relax. But the irony is that instead of clean water and forest where she can build her nest all she finds is dust and sand. Her fatigued eyes continue to look for a place to rest but in vain.
In today’s world where climate change has become one of the biggest threats to not only human life but every kind of life, this scenario of a lovely bird’s endless search has nearly become a reality. Humans are solely responsible for climate change that has begun to affect this wonderful planet earth and its living beings badly. Many species of birds are sensitive to climate changes to a great extent, especially the migratory birds and are facing a serious threat to their life. The increase in temperature, extreme weather conditions, dramatically changing vegetation and many other undesirable conditions have resulted in significant changes in birds’ habitat. Climate change is one of the major factors which have led to bird population decline and even the migration patterns of the birds have changed.
These pretty and innocent creatures are facing several threats to their existence, especially because of climate change. Before the advent of the Industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were 280 ppm and today it has increased by more than 30%. It is much higher than it has been in the past 600,000 years.
It has already been scientifically proven that climate change greatly impacts the phenology ( timing of natural events of birds like migration and reproduction). This can result in reduced reproductive output and endanger population survival.
Their habitats are getting drastically altered because of climate change and rare bird species which need specific habitats such as the ones which live at the top of mountains or at the poles are at high risk.
The climate change also results in disease outbreak and that in turn affects the health of several bird populations. For example in Hawaii, malaria-carrying mosquitoes are restricted by temperature changes along altitude gradients. It means that at lower altitudes malaria outbreak is more common but higher regions on mountaintops serve as a refuge for birds because mosquitoes can’t reach such areas. Unfortunately, increase in temperature due to climate change has led mosquitoes to move even to the mountain slopes, which is dangerous for the birds living atop the mountains. Avian malaria is considered to be a key reason for the decline of endemic Hawaiian birds.
In times to come because of climate change birds may face new prey, predators, parasites, diseases and competitors which they are not adapted to and it will affect their life-cycle greatly. If climate change continues to become worse with each passing year, that day would not be far away when these wonderful birds would join their ancestors in extinction. And the loss of many bird species would strongly affect the entire ecosystem and not just them but we, the humans, will also be affected. And our future generation would only see these colorful birds in books or internet.