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.
Encounters with Royal Terns are typically coastal: a tightly bunched group roosting on a barrier beach, a noisy foraging flock just beyond the breakers, or a few patrolling the back bays. Long threatened by coastal development and increasingly at risk from major storms, the Royal Tern now has to contend with climate change. Audubon's climate model, focusing only on climate space in winter, shows both an overall decline of favorable environments and a substantial range shift. Heavy losses of climatically favorable areas along the Gulf Coast may be partially offset by newly created winter environments in the Desert Southwest—but only if this coastal species can quickly adapt to new habitats inland.