BTO work on climate change can be divided into three main areas:
- Documenting the impacts of climate change on biodiversity
- Developing and using approaches for predicting future impacts of climate change to identify the most vulnerable species and habitats
- Improving the evidence base to inform how conservation needs to adapt to climate change
Although much of our work has a UK bird focus, we also work internationally and on other taxa.
Climate and land use changes: similarity in range and abundance changes of birds in Finland and Great Britain
Citizen science reveals patterns in Pied Flycatcher breeding
New research uses data from BirdTrack and the Nest Record Scheme to investigate how adaptable breeding Pied Flycatchers are to a changing climate.
Benefits of protected areas for nonbreeding waterbirds adjusting their distributions under climate warming
Strengthening the evidence base for temperature-mediated phenological asynchrony and its impacts
The earlier arrival of spring, measured by plants flowering, insects emerging, and the timing of egg laying and migrants arriving in birds, is one of the most obvious impacts of climate change on the...
Evaluating spatially explicit sharing‐sparing scenarios for multiple environmental outcomes
BTO and COVID-19
BTO statement on participating in surveys during the Coronavirus pandemic (UPDATED 21.05.2021).
Phenological mismatch between breeding birds and their surveyors and implications for estimating population trends
Several studies in recent decades, including those led by BTO, have demonstrated that many birds are migrating or breeding earlier as the climate changes. These so-called phenological shifts could...
Disentangling the relative roles of climate and land cover change in driving the long‐term population trends of European migratory birds
Can microclimate offer refuge to an upland bird species under climate change?
Climate change is now widely recognised as having a large impact on biodiversity, affecting species distributions at a large spatial scale. Previous BTO research has demonstrated a change in...
Positive impacts of important bird and biodiversity areas on wintering waterbirds under changing temperatures throughout Europe and North Africa
BirdTrack — a Swiss army knife in BTO’s toolkit?
BTO’s Ecological Statistician Philipp Boersch-Supan explains the insights BirdTrack records can provide.
Measuring the success of climate change adaptation and mitigation in terrestrial ecosystems
Population responses of bird populations to climate change on two continents vary with species' ecological traits but not with direction of change in climate suitability
Population growth rates affected by climatic variables
Research by BTO and Natural England, suggests that climate change has had a detectable impact on a sizeable proportion of England’s avifauna over the last 50 years.
Assessing BTO impact
BTO has a strong reputation for delivering quality science, but does it have an impact? An independent expert panel decides.
Site-based adaptation reduces the negative effects of weather upon a southern range margin Welsh black grouse Tetrao tetrix population that is vulnerable to climate change
Climate change in a warming world
BTO science contributes to our understanding of future scenarios, and informing policies and conservation management strategies to help species adapt.
A national-scale assessment of climate change impacts on species: assessing the balance of risks and opportunities for multiple taxa.
Hydrologically driven ecosystem processes determine the distribution and persistence of ecosystem-specialist predators under climate change
Climate change vulnerability assessment of species
Assessing species' vulnerability to climate change is a prerequisite for developing effective strategies to conserve them.
Declining population trends of European mountain birds
Mountain areas often hold special species communities, and they are high on the list of conservation concern. Global warming and changes in human land use, such as grazing pressure and afforestation,...
Caterpillars and caterpillar-eating birds: out of synch in space and time?
The increasing temperatures associated with a changing climate may disrupt ecological systems, including by affecting the timing of key events. If events within different trophic levels are...
What's Under Your Feet?
A new study, supported by EDF Energy and BTO, has looked into soil invertebrate communities in the UK using large-scale citizen science data from schools.
Does climate change bring us invasive species?
Non-native species are becoming a more common sight, but is this linked to the changing climate? A new BTO study investigates whether it's possible to predict which non-native species are likely...
Dodging the blades: gulls and wind farms
Initial findings suggest that Lesser Black-backed Gulls in north-west England fly within wind farms, but may avoid wind turbines once there.
Take part in BBS - counting for conservation
The Breeding Bird Survey is the main scheme for monitoring the population changes of the UK’s common and widespread breeding birds.
Does the early bird catch the caterpillar?
Recently published research led by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) sheds new light on the impact that climate change has had on common and widespread songbirds across the UK.