October 11, 2019
Noah Perlut, Ph.D., associate professor and department chair in the Department of Environmental Studies, lent his insight to a recent Portland Press Herald story titled “Maine could lose loons and other bird species by end of century.”
The article details an October 10, 2019 report by the National Audubon Society that expresses the extent to which global climate change is threatening North America’s native bird species. It projects that 63 percent of the continent’s 604 species will be vulnerable with a temperature rise of 3 degrees Celsius, including such iconic Maine species as the boreal chickadee, the common loon, and the ruffed grouse. If the climate continues to warm at its current rate, these and other species could move farther north in search of more suitable habitats.
Perlut commented on the significance of this latest report’s timing – just a month after the release of a similarly alarming study by a group of Canadian and American ornithologists – and on the public reaction the two reports have garnered.
“Any ornithologist that read that paper on the other big population model was not surprised in any way, shape or form,” Perlut said. “But it was amazing the press it got. It was amazing to me the people I heard from who don’t think about birds, and they thought it was terrible. I definitely think the context of the two studies together are a powerful story.”
Read the Portland Press Herald article.