Wildlife

 

One in six of the planet’s species will be lost forever to extinction if world leaders fail to take action on climate change. See report at http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/30/one-in-six-of-worlds-species-faces-extinction-due-to-climate-change-study

Conservationists said such a large loss would be a tragedy with serious ramifications for people as well as ecosystems.

Creatures in Australia, New Zealand and South America will be hit much harder than North American and Europe, due to a high number of species not found anywhere else, such as Australia’s white lemuroid ringtail possums, which can die within hours in higher temperatures. Relatively small land masses in Australia and New Zealand mean that many species there will be unable to migrate to cope with rising temperatures, found the study, published in the journal Science on Thursday.

The study is the most comprehensive look yet at the impact of climate change on biodiversity loss, analysing 131 existing studies on the subject. The stresses on wildlife and their habitats from global warming is in addition to pressures such as deforestation, pollution and overfishing that have already seen the world lose half its animals in the past 40 years.

The number of animals has declined by half since 1970.Animal populations plummeted by 52% between 1970 and 2010a recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates.