The Bird Genoscape Project: Protecting Migratory Birds in the Face of Climate Change

For centuries bird enthusiasts and researchers have been trying to figure out where birds go when they migrate South. Up until recently, these efforts have been largely focused on the use of leg bands, which are able to provide only very limited information. Now, at a time when the threat of climate change has made it more important than ever to learn more about bird migration, a new genetic technique for connecting the migratory pathways of birds has been developed. Learn how scientists at UCLA and the Center for Tropical Research have solved this age-old question – where do bird go when they migrate?

In the video we hear from UCLA researcher Kristen Ruegg as well as the director of the Center for Tropical Research, Tom Smith.  These two bird experts have been working for decades to find a solution to the bird migration question, and explain why this new research is so critically important for bird populations.  We also hear from solar industry experts, who explain why it is so important to be investing in a solution to the climate change crisis while simultaneously working to learn how our warming climate is impacting bird species.

This video was produced in collaboration with First Solar, a global leader in photovoltaic solar energy solutions that is committed to finding innovative ways to address climate change.  Much of the spectacular bird footage that you see in the film was shot by Bryce Robinson – you can see more of his work at



Center for Tropical Research

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability

Institute for Bird Populations

First Solar



Podcast episode featuring an interview with UCLA researcher Kristen Ruegg: