Habitat for South Carolina’s birds is shrinking and shifting due to climate change. Shrinking habitat is an obvious threat. But even a shift can prove hazardous, reducing food sources and/or introducing birds to new predators. Sadly, many of our state’s birds will be looking for safe places to go.
Safe “climate strongholds” for these birds could include not just natural forests and wetlands, but anyplace landscaped with native plants. That’s because native plants provide just the right smorgasbord of insects, flowers, and berries to help climate-stressed birds survive.
So how do we convince South Carolina’s homeowners, landscapers, and developers to go native?
One strategy is to work with garden clubs and other partners to promote a Native Plant Resolution in the South Carolina General Assembly. The bill passed in March 2017, providing a strong platform for this nascent movement. We're now promoting a bill that would encourage solar energy facilities to use landscaping that’s friendly to birds and pollinators.
Native plants offer tremendous potential for better bird conservation in South Carolina. Cities and suburbs currently cover 10 to 15 percent of our state, and growing. More than 80 percent of plants in those areas are currently non-native. A statewide shift to landscaping with native plants could ensure the survival of literally millions of birds!
PROJECT CONTACT: Heather Hulton VanTassel