Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Climate change threat to one third of species

In a previous post I commented on one aspect of the threat world trade poses to amphibians. Now there's evidence that climate change poses an greater threat to birds, corals and amphibians.

A team of scientists at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has assessed species as at  risk if their climate is changing, they are vulnerable to the changes and they are unable to adapt or relocate. The proportion of species they find to be at risk are:
  • Birds              24 to 50%.
  • Amphibians   22 to 44%
  • Corals            15 to 32%.
Many of these species, and most of the bird species rated at risk, are considered safe by the Red Book - the usual reference for such judgements - so we now need to treat all Red Book assessments as optimistic.

Commenting on these results Chris Thomas of the University of York said "the conservation programme you might need to put in place [is] mind-boggling". But this, as he surely knows, is fantasy. Nither the money, nor the will nor the land needed are available. We can keep the threatened species only if we put a stop to climate change.

No comments: