Ripple Impact: Migratory Birds and Lengthy-term Drought within the West

This text was initially revealed in American Water Assets Affiliation journal “Water Assets Influence” and written by Audubon’s Director of Migration Science Nat Seavy, and Karyn Stockdale, Audubon’s Senior Director of Western Water.

As water managers know all too effectively, one of many elementary challenges is that water is one factor of a fancy and related system. Water that falls as snow within the mountains strikes downslope to rivers, wetlands, lakes, underground aquifers, and coastal estuaries. These hydrological connections present foundational assets for an unbelievable system that helps individuals, fish, birds, and different biodiversity throughout the planet.

However as we speak’s hydrologic cycle is vastly completely different than 50 years in the past, with proof of local weather disruption all through the water cycle—together with long-term drought, warmth waves, flooding, wildfire, and extra. One problem of understanding and managing these water-based programs is that many impacts, reminiscent of long-term drought, don’t have an effect on only one location. They ripple out throughout bigger areas. Within the case of migratory birds that rely upon rivers, wetlands, estuaries, and lakes, these ripples can lengthen from the Arctic all the way in which to the southern reaches of South America. As an integral a part of broader drought resilience work within the American West, efforts to assist migratory chicken populations may also make waves, sending ripples effectively past the habitats the place wildlife managers and water managers focus their efforts.

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