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Endangered Species


How is climate change impacting Endangered Species?

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To make matters worse, research contradicts the long-held hypothesis that different species coexisting in a particular ecosystem respond to global warming as a single entity. Instead, different species within the same habitat are responding in dissimilar ways, tearing apart ecological communities’ millennia in the making.

Climate change has an impact on turtle nesting sites. It alters sand temperatures, which then affects the sex of hatchlings. Water is crucial for African elephants. They need to drink 150-300 liters per day, and also use it for playing and bathing. Hotter temperatures and less rain—as well as a projected increase in periods of severe drought—will directly affect elephant numbers.

African wild dogs are sensitive to heat and typically hunt in the cooler periods of the day. Hotter temperatures potentially mean shorter hunting periods and less food—and that could reduce pup survival. Rising temperatures would also shrink or eliminate the animals’ range. Also, wild dogs live in highly social packs and are susceptible to various diseases; climate change may increase the spread of some wildlife diseases.

The best way to protect against loss of wildlife and plant life is to keep global temperature rise as low as possible. The Paris Agreement pledges to reduce the expected level of global warming from 4.5°C to around 3°C, which reduces the impacts. But we see even greater improvements at 2°C. And if we can limit that even more, to a 1.5°C rise, we could protect even more life.

But there is hope - More than 300 companies around the world are setting targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions based on climate science. Half of America’s Fortune 500 companies have a goal to cut climate pollution. Their efforts are equivalent of taking more than 40 coal fired power plants offline for a year.

Not only does global warming contribute to a possible extinction of wildlife – from red pandas to giant pandas and sea turtles, to name but a few.

  • We’ll see almost 50% species loss in areas studied if global temperatures rise by 4.5°C
  • We’ll see less than 25% species loss in areas studied if we limit global temperature rise to 2°C

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


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