Climate change and migratory species: a review of impacts, conservation actions, indicators and ecosystem services.

Arctic Tern, by Edmund Fellowes / BTO

Author(s): Williams, J.M., Scott, S.E., Galbraith, C.A., Martay, B., Macphie, K.H., Hereward, H.F.R., Barton, M.G., Bowgen, K.M., Pearce-Higgins, J.W. & Robinson, R.A.

Published: December 2023  

Publisher: JNCC

ISBN: 978-0-86139-000-7

Available from the JNCC website
This major report, prepared by BTO staff and colleagues at JNCC, surveys the evidence on the impacts of climate change on migratory species. It was launched on 10 December 2023 at the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (UNFCCC COP28).

Part 1 documents a review of literature which was carried out to identify the impacts of climate change on each group of migratory species listed on CMS Appendix I and Appendix II. A range of climate change threats on migratory species were identified, research gaps identified and potential conservation responses outlined. 

Part 2 summarises the results of a literature review of conservation interventions that have previously been employed on migratory species in the context of climate change. Key considerations for the conservation of migratory species are outlined, providing examples of studies that have demonstrated these. Additionally, an assessment was undertaken of climate change indicators created since 2009, and those with potential to assess climate change impacts on migratory species were identified.

Part 3 summarises a review of the potential roles migratory species can have as key components of ecosystems, particularly through providing nature-based solutions related to climate change. It highlights examples where the conservation of migratory species may also contribute to wider benefits for people and ecosystems, to help decision makers begin to consider these issues in a cross-cutting and holistic way. 


The study ‘Climate change and migratory species: a review of impacts, conservation actions, indicators and ecosystem services’ was commissioned by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) as a major contribution to the work of CMS on climate change and prepared by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
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