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Climatic impacts on European and North American birds

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2010

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Ebcc

European Bird Census Council

Birdlife aug2013

BirdLife International

Durham

Durham University

Camuni

University of Cambridge

Rspb logo aug2013

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Contact point

Indicator description

Birds are useful indicators of the state of the environment as they are sensitive to environmental change, their ecology is well-known and they are relatively easy to survey and count. The Climate Impact Indicator (CII), derived from these counts with other information, quantifies the impacts of recent climate change on breeding abundance in common birds, accounting for regional variation in both climate impacts and population trends. The CII is relevant to policy makers because it can be used to track biological impacts of climatic warming in near real-time, relating the rate of change in bird populations to observed temperature change and climate drivers.

Related Aichi Targets

Primary target

10

Target 10:

By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.

Primary target

10

Target 10:

By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.

10

Related SDGs

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GOAL 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Target 13.3| Relevant indicator

Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.

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GOAL 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Target 14.2| Relevant indicator

By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.

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GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

Target 15.4| Relevant indicator

By 2030, ensure the conservation of mountain ecosystems, including their biodiversity, in order to enhance their capacity to provide benefits that are essential for sustainable development.

Target 15.5| Relevant indicator

Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.

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GOAL 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 14

GOAL 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

E sdg goals icons individual rgb 15

GOAL 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.

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Other related MEAs and processes

Cites high resolution

CITES

Target 1.4| Relevant indicator

The Appendices correctly reflect the conservation needs of species.

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CMS

Target 5| Relevant indicator

Governments, key sectors and stakeholders at all levels have taken steps to achieve or have implemented plans for sustainable production and consumption, keeping the impacts of natural resource use on migratory species well within safe ecological limits to promote the favourable conservation status of migratory species and maintain the quality, integrity, resilience, and connectivity of their habitats and migratory routes.

Target 7| Relevant indicator

Multiple anthropogenic pressures have been brought to levels that are not detrimental to the conservation of migratory species or to the functioning, integrity, ecological connectivity and resilience of their habitats.

Indicator icon

IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

Chapter 2| Relevant indicator

Status and trends; indirect and direct drivers of change

Indicator icon

IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

Chapter 3| Relevant indicator

Status, trends and future dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystems underpinning nature’s benefits to people

Chapter 4| Relevant indicator

Direct and indirect drivers of change in the context of different perspectives of quality of life

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Ramsar

Target 13| Relevant indicator

Enhanced sustainability of key sectors such as water, energy, mining, agriculture, tourism, urban development, infrastructure, industry, forestry, aquaculture and fisheries when they affect wetlands, contributing to biodiversity conservation and human livelihoods

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UNCCD

Expected impact 2.2| Relevant indicator

The vulnerability of affected ecosystems to climate change, climate variability and drought is reduced.

Cites high resolution

CITES

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CMS

Indicator icon

IPBES Global Assessment Chapters

Indicator icon

IPBES Regional Assessment Chapters

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Ramsar

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UNCCD

Cites high resolution
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Indicator icon
Indicator icon
Ramsar.logo

Themes

Bip species

Partners

Ebcc
Birdlife aug2013
Durham
Camuni
Rspb logo aug2013

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2010

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Indicator description

Birds are useful indicators of the state of the environment as they are sensitive to environmental change, their ecology is well-known and they are relatively easy to survey and count. The Climate Impact Indicator (CII), derived from these counts with other information, quantifies the impacts of recent climate change on breeding abundance in common birds, accounting for regional variation in both climate impacts and population trends. The CII is relevant to policy makers because it can be used to track biological impacts of climatic warming in near real-time, relating the rate of change in bird populations to observed temperature change and climate drivers.

Contact point

Graphs / Diagrams

Figure 1 and 2. Climatic Impact Index (Europe and North America).

Current storyline

The Climatic Impact Indicator (CII) measures the divergence between the weighted population trends of bird species whose populations are thought to have been favoured or disadvantaged by recent climatic change accordingly to the underlying models (Stephens et al. 2016). Composite population indices were derived by weighting abundance indices by the magnitude of species’ climate suitability trends within these two distinct groups of birds. The result is that changes in populations of species that we expect (from species’ distribution models) to be markedly affected by climate change would receive more weight in the composite index than would those of species for which the climate suitability trend was negligible. The CIIs are based on indices of abundance for 145 species monitored by the Pan-European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme, and indices of abundance for 380 species monitored by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).

The CII is an indicator of climatic impacts on bird populations. Long-term monitoring, from 1980 to 2010, of the abundance of breeding birds across Europe and the United States was used to produce, for both regions, composite population indices for two groups of species: those for which climate suitability has been either improving, or declining, since 1980.

The ratio of these composite indices, the CII, reflects the divergent fates of species favoured or disadvantaged by climate change. In contrast to the Living Planet Index and Wild Bird Index, CII is an indicator of the impact of climatic change: as putative effects of climatic change on population size proceed, both positive and negative, so the indicator goes up. When the CII is level it indicates that climatic change is not having any further effect, beyond what may have already occurred.

The general trend of the CII is clearly strongly and similarly upwards in both Europe and North America indicating that there is an increasing and demonstrable impact of climatic change on bird populations. The CII has increased rapidly in the past twenty years coinciding with a period recognised by climatologists as a time of rapid observed climatic warming in both regions (Stephens et al. 2016).

Figure 1. Climatic Impact Index (Europe)

Figure 2. Climatic Impact Index (North America)

Data and methodology

Coverage: Regional/National timeseries

Scale: Other – Europe and North America

Time series available: 1980 – 2010

Disaggregations: By country, by state (North America only)

Metadata: For Europe, indices of abundance for 145 species monitored by the Pan-European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme were assessed, and for the United States, indices of abundance for 380 species monitored by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) were used.Brief summary of metadata

Methodology: Developing the indicator involves six steps: (1) selecting species abundance data for analysis; (2) fitting species’ distribution models to species’ occurrence data and concurrent long-term mean climate values for a single fixed time period, and applying those models to annual climate data to determine how climate suitability has changed for each species in each country or state in which it occurs; (3) checking that these climate suitability trends are informative predictors of abundance trends; (4) deriving composite multispecies abundance indices for each state or country, separately for species with positive climate suitability trends (hereafter, the CST+ group) and for those with negative climate suitability trends (the CST– group); (5) amalgamating country- or state-level information to produce subcontinental CST+ and CST– indices; and (6) contrasting the CST+ and CST– indices to produce a climate impact indicator (CII), which reflects the divergent fates of species favoured and disadvantaged by climate change.

National use of indicator

For Europe, indices of abundance for 145 species monitored by the Pan-European Common Birds Monitoring Scheme were assessed, and for the United States, indices of abundance for 380 species monitored by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) were used. To account for regional variation in climate impacts and species’ trends, species’ distribution models were used to identify the climate suitability trend for each species at the level of individual countries in Europe or states in the United States. Further information is available in Stephens et al. (2016).

Further resources

Key indicator facts

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Indicator type

State

Applicable for national use

Yes

Indicator classification

Operational and included in the CBD's list of indicators

Last update

2010

Coverage

Global

Availability

Freely available

Partners

Ebcc

European Bird Census Council

Birdlife aug2013

BirdLife International

Durham

Durham University

Camuni

University of Cambridge

Rspb logo aug2013

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Contact point