Britain’s garden birds could be wiped by 2100 due to climate change, warn Oxford University scientists

The ‘breaking point’ is estimated to be when larvae and leaves are produced 24 days earlier than they are at the moment. If that happens, great tits could be extinct here by 2100, said lead author professor Emily Simmonds.

Prof Simmonds, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which produced the report alongside the University of Oxford, explained: “If the changes happen too fast, species can become extinct.

“Given conditions with big greenhouse gas emissions, the great tits won’t always be able to keep up with the changes in the larvae supply.

“This could happen even if the great tits are also modifying their behaviour faster in a rapidly changing environment. The larvae might be changing even faster than the great tits.”

She added that even what appear to be the most stable populations of birds could become extinct under these fast moving changes.

She said: “It could be that the apparent stability today is hiding a future collapse. The reason is that we might reach a kind of threshold where the great tits aren’t keeping up. The rubber band gets stretched

too far, you could say.

“The good news is that the populations will be able to survive scenarios with lower or medium warming trends.”

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