Alarming: Audubon reports on climate-endangered Rosy-Finches

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
1 message Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view

Alarming: Audubon reports on climate-endangered Rosy-Finches

Audubon reports on climate-endangered Rosy-Finches are excerpted below and may be accessed at the links provided.

The Black Rosy-Finch is rapidly losing its alpine breeding habitat and faces extinction.

The limited breeding range of the Brown-capped Rosy-Finch places it at risk of a major decrease in population as alpine tundra in New Mexico and Colorado disappears.

The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch habitat is more diverse but its preference for mountain-top breeding places it at sustantial risk

See these disturbing reports (zoom in on the interactive map to view past and projected change in population and distribution).  

CLICK SPECIES NAME to view maps showing decrease in population and projected loss of breeding range




Every winter, birders flock to Sandia Crest in New Mexico for a chance to see the stunning little Black Rosy-Finch. If they’re lucky, they may come across clouds of them, with the other two rosy-finch species mixed in. Audubon's climate model paints the worst possible picture for this species in winter: a complete loss of available climate space. The species nests in mostly inaccessible areas, so there are no summer projections. But this species’ very restricted and specialized breeding habitat—alpine tundra—is also in real danger of disappearing completely. If the Black Rosy-Finch can’t adapt to new climates and habitats, it may be in serious trouble... [MORE]

Male Brown-capped Rosy-Finches are indeed brown and rosy, but with a blackish cap, making this species’ name potentially confusing. It currently has a tiny range, breeding only on alpine tundra from southern Wyoming to southern Colorado, and wintering in the surrounding foothills, including in northernmost New Mexico. The pressures it faces are immense: a warming climate will force breeding habitat (alpine tundra) up in elevation. Since the habitat is now restricted to just the very tops of mountains, it will likely disappear completely. Winter habitat (high-elevation forests) is also projected to contract. By 2080, Audubon's climate model predicts that only three percent of the current winter range will have a similar climate to today... [MORE]

The Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch is a variable species that breeds in varied (but always open and treeless) habitats. Some highly migratory populations nest on alpine tundra, while other resident populations nest on rocky shorelines on islands in the Bering Sea. Audubon's climate model projects a substantial decline of 69% in suitable climate space for wintering and a major shift in current range; only 13% of it is stable. Because of its relatively inaccessible breeding range and the scarcity of summer data, the model makes no projections for that season; but as with other mountaintop birds, there is reason for concern as the climate warms... [MORE]