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Title: Global climate change and sea level rise: potential losses of intertidal habitat for shorebirds

Author: Galbraith, H.; Jones, R.; Park, R.; Clough, J.; Herrod-Julius, S.; Harrington, B.; Page, G.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1119-1122

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Global warming is expected to result in an acceleration of current rates of sea level rise, inundating many low-lying coastal and intertidal areas. This could have important implications for organisms that depend on these sites, including shorebirds that rely on them for foraging habitat during their migrations and in winter. We modeled the potential changes in the extent of intertidal foraging habitat for shorebirds at five sites in the United States that currently support internationally important numbers of migrating and wintering shorebirds. Even assuming a conservative global warming scenario of 2°C within the next century (the most recent projections ranging between 1.4°C and 5.8°C), we project major intertidal habitat losses at four of the sites. These losses typically range between 20 percent and 70 percent of current intertidal habitat. The projected habitat losses would jeopardize the ability of these sites to continue to support their current shorebird numbers. The most severe losses are likely to occur in sites where the current coastline is unable to move inland because of steep topography or coastal defense structures such as sea walls.

Keywords: climate change, global warming, sea level rise, shorebirds, WHSRN sites

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Galbraith, H.; Jones, R.; Park, R.; Clough, J.; Herrod-Julius, S.; Harrington, B.; Page, G. 2005. Global climate change and sea level rise: potential losses of intertidal habitat for shorebirds. In: Ralph, C. John; Rich, Terrell D., editors 2005. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California, Volume 2 Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: p. 1119-1122

 


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