The beautiful, liquid song of the Palila was once thought a sign of rain. Now the distinctive sound is rarely heard.
The Palila and the māmane tree are two of Hawai’i’s many species found nowhere else. The tree is essential to the bird: The Palila’s hooked bill is just right for opening the tough, fibrous seedpods of māmane, the bird’s primary food.
A new report from the National Audubon Society shows that two-thirds of North America’s birds face major challenges including extinction if global temperatures are allowed to increase 3 degrees Celsius by 2100. However, if temperature rise is limited to 1.5 degrees, the majority of those disruptions can be stopped.
While many scientists believe that a 1.5 degrees C rise in temperatures above pre-industrial levels is already inevitable, and some claim that the 2-degree threshold has already been crossed, the Audubon report suggests that there’s still time to mitigate some of the damage to birds. Limiting temperature rise to just 1.5, the report says, would limit the extinction vulnerability of 70 percent of North American species at risk.