Climate

Climate Strongholds

Manage it and they will come! Photo: Shayna Hartley

One of the biggest challenges for birds is climate change.  Not only do we need to protect places vulnerable birds need today; we also need to protect places they'll likely be driven by shifting weather patterns.  

These safe spots, called "climate strongholds," have the right temperature, precipitation and seasonal changes to support a diversity of birds, now and in the future.  Protecting and restoring habitat in these areas is critical – and that's just what we're doing at Beidler Forest and Silver Bluff.

Currently, swampland and freshwater wetlands at Beidler host one of the densest populations of nesting songbirds in the eastern U.S., as well as waterbirds like the Anhinga, the White Ibis, and a variety of herons and egrets.

On our upland properties at both Beidler and Silver Bluff, we're restoring the longleaf pine savannah, which originally covered much of the Southeast.  Birds that benefit include the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, Northern Bobwhite, and Eastern Bluebird.

Uplands are also an opportunity to restore South Carolina’s beautiful native grasslands.  Birds that benefit include the Eastern Meadowlark, Loggerhead Shrike, and Grasshopper Sparrow.

Protecting and restoring habitat in climate strongholds benefits both the birds we see in our sanctuaries today, and the birds we'll start to see as weather patterns change.  It makes our state's birds more resilient in a warming world.  

PROJECT CONTACT:  Mike Dawson, mdawson@audubon.org.