Climate change is not only affecting us as humans and the environment we live in, but also many other animal species as well. Climate change is changing vegetation patterns across the globe, forcing animal species to migrate to new, cooler areas in order to survive. Experts are even predicting that one-fourth of Earth’s species will be headed for extinction by 2050. Polar Bears are the most well known example of this but there are a lot of other species looking at extinction if something does not change.
In fact the International Union for the Conservation of Nature conducted a study and made a Species and Climate Change list for animals in danger of going extinct due to climate change. Another study, this one done by the Wilderness Conservation Society, made a similar list called, Species Facing the Heat. Here are some the species that they found to be in danger. Some may surprise you.
The Emperor Penguin: These large penguins may face food shortages because of the reduction in shelf ice where these birds go hunting for the krill it eats. Less ice also means smaller breeding areas for the penguins.
Ringed Seals: These creatures must shift their ranges further north in order to find the ice which they need to raise their offspring.
The Arctic Fox: Are facing competition from red foxes now that they are able to expand their range due to climate change.
The Beluga Whale: Humans are slowly taking over their habitat due to the fact that there is less ice which previously made boat travel more difficult.
Corals: The corals skeletons are dissolving due to the increased acidification of the oceans.
Clownfish: Ocean acidification is also affecting these fish because it hinders their sense of smell and therefore making it harder for them to hunt and catch prey.
Salmon: Are suffering due to the fact that warmer water depletes the oxygen content in their breeding streams and rivers.
The Koala Bear: The increased CO2 in the atmosphere affects the nutritional content in Eucalyptus trees, which is the only plant Koalas eat.
The Leatherback Turtle: Their reproduction is being negatively affected by the rising temperatures of the beach sand in which they lay their eggs. These warmer temperatures cause dramatic imbalances in the sex rations of turtle hatchlings.
Flamingos: They are experiencing a reduction in their population due to the quality of the tropical and semi-tropical wetlands they depend on for survival.
The Musk Ox: These creatures face inquired predation by grizzly bears that will be able to expand their range into musk ox habitat due to climate change.
Climate change does not just affect us as humans, but it impacts all the creatures around us as well. It is up to us to make a change and make the world a better place for us and these animals.
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By: Garrett Sanders