The darker the color, the more favorable the climate conditions are for survival. The outlined areas represent approximate current range for each season. More on reading these maps.
A quick look at the climate space projected by the Audubon climate model on the map suggests that this bird will be a beneficiary of climate change. But the biology of the species tempers that conclusion. There are two flicker species in the model area: the Northern Flicker is a widespread habitat generalist, but the Gilded Flicker is a range-restricted specialist that favors saguaro and Joshua tree “forests.” Although closely related, the two flickers are generally isolated today by geography and habitat, but they interbreed freely in a few Arizona locales where their ranges meet. As the Gilded Flicker, assisted by climate change, penetrates the range of the Northern Flicker, extensive interbreeding could ensue. Genetic “swamping” by one species, or mixing of both species’ gene pools, may be the unfortunate result.