Wilson's Plover

wilplo
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Each map is a visual guide to where a particular bird species may find the climate conditions it needs to survive in the future. We call this the bird’s “climatic range.”

The colors indicate the season in which the bird may find suitable conditions— blue for winter, yellow for summer (breeding), and green for where they overlap (indicating their presence year-round).

The darker the shaded area, the more likely it is the bird species will find suitable climate conditions to survive there.

 

The outline of the approximate current range for each season remains fixed in each frame, allowing you to compare how the range will expand, contract, or shift in the future.

 

The first frame of the animation shows where the bird can find a suitable climate today (based on data from 2000). The next three frames predict where this bird’s suitable climate may shift in the future—one frame each for 2020, 2050, and 2080.

You can play or pause the animation with the orange button in the lower left, or select an individual frame to study by clicking on its year.

Climate Threatened

Wilson's Plover

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.

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.
Winter
Summer

Winter Range
Summer Range
Both Seasons
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Focal Species
Flickr Creative Commons

Of all the small banded plovers in the model area, the Wilson’s Plover is the one most tightly associated with ocean beaches and adjoining salt marshes. Thus, it may be the plover most affected by rising sea levels. Audubon's climate model projects a 77 percent loss of current winter range by 2080, showing the species’ favorable climatic conditions penetrating inland, notably in and around the lower Colorado River drainage. A site like the Salton Sea in inland southern California seems plausible for colonization by the plover—and, indeed, there is a breeding record there from the early 20th century. But a key question remains unanswered: will the Salton Sea even be there in 2080?

Species Range Change from 2000 to 2080

The size of the circles roughly indicates the species’ range size in 2000 (left) and 2080 (right).

The amount of overlap between the 2000 circle and the 2080 circle indicates how stable the range will be geographically. Lots of overlap means the bird’s range doesn’t shift much. No overlap means the species will leave its current range entirely.


Birds at Risk

Explore more birds threatened by climate change around the country.

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