Connecting birds and people to mobilise climate change action

A climate ambassador from Audubon North Carolina shows off a wood thrush during a talk on climate change © Justin Cook.

The National Audubon Society (BirdLife in the USA) is mobilizing climate change action across North America by encouraging a network of volunteers (‘climate ambassadors’) to use their passion for birds to inspire others to take action and help birds in this changing climate. 

Many North American species have already changed their ranges in response to climate change (Zuckerberg et al. 2009, Auer and King 2014, Environmental Protection Agency 2014, Tingley et al. 2012), and the predicted range changes of North American species by 2080 are expected to be substantial, even for the most optimistic emission scenario (Langham et al. 2015).

The National Audubon society is mobilizing a network of dedicated volunteers to help combat the impact of climate change on birds. Drawing on the latest social science on the importance of interpersonal communication and social cues to create behavioural and opinion change, they are using a conversations-based approach to grow the demand for solutions, while also protecting the places on the ground birds need now and in a warmer world.

Volunteers are encouraged to spread the message about climate change and birds, take positive actions to help make a difference, and help change laws to help protect birds against the impacts of climate change. It is through talking to friends, family and colleagues about the impacts of climate change on our environment that a growing number of individuals are creating a demand for solutions.

This case study is taken from ‘The Messengers: What birds tell us about threats from climate change and solutions for nature and people’. To download the report in full click here.  

Related Species


Auer, S. K. and King, D. I. (2014) Ecological and life-history traits explain recent boundary shifts in elevation and latitude of western North American songbirds. Glob. Ecol. Biogeogr. 23: 867–875.
Environmental Protection Agency (2014) Climate change indicators in the United States: Bird Wintering Ranges. Available at:
Tingley, M. W., Koo, M. S., Moritz, C., Rush, A. C. and Beissinger, S. R. (2012) The push and pull of climate change causes heterogeneous shifts in avian elevational ranges. Glob. Change Biol. 18: 3279–3290.
Zuckerberg, B., Woods, A. M. and Porter, W. F. (2009) Poleward shifts in breeding bird distributions in New York State. Glob. Change Biol. 15: 1866–1883.

Compiled: 2015    Copyright: 2015   

Recommended Citation:
BirdLife International (2015) Connecting birds and people to mobilise climate change action. Downloaded from on 19/03/2018