Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Climate change deepens threat to Pacific island wildlife
By Marlowe HOOD
Paris (AFP) July 13, 2017

Land mammals and reptiles in the Pacific islands facing extinction due to habitat loss, hunting and other threats could be decimated by climate change, a study published Thursday said.

Ocean-bound wildlife is particularly vulnerable to environmental pressures, especially endemic species living on only one or a handful of islands. Among other things, this remoteness makes migrating to another land mass nearly impossible.

Dozens of species -- especially birds -- have also been wiped out over the last century by invasive species and disease brought by human settlers.

For most Pacific island vertebrates -- animals with a backbone -- the current risk of extinction has been measured and catalogued in the Red List of threatened species, maintained by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Scientists, however, had not systematically looked at the added threat posed of rising seas and megastorms brought on by global warming.

Impacts due to an increase in temperature of only one degree Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) since the mid-19th century have already begun to wreak havoc in dozens of small island nations.

Lalit Kumar and Mahyat Shafapour Tehrany of the University of New England in Armidale, Australia, matched the Red List conservation status of 150 mammals and reptiles against two scenarios for future climate change that assume either weak or moderate efforts in curtailing greenhouse gas emissions.

- Triple threat -

One would result in global warming of about 4 C (7.2 F) by century's end, and the other roughly 3 C (5.4 F).

The question they asked for each species was simple: to what extent will a hotter world increase the danger of extinction?

"Projected increases in sea level rise and ... wave heights, together with more intense tropical cyclones, are likely to exacerbate these vulnerabilities and result in signficant habitat destruction," the researchers concluded.

Eighteen animals -- including Bulmer's fruit bat, half-a-dozen species of gecko, and several lizards -- faced a triple threat.

Not only are they already listed as "critically endangered", the last step before the category "extinct in the wild", they are also unique to this part of the world and exist on a single island, though mostly larger ones.

"These species are only found in this region, and so deserve extra attention since a loss of any of these species will mean global extinction," the authors warned.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, could help conservationists and policy makers outline strategies for preventing the disappearance of these creatures from the face of the Earth, they added.

The 196-nation Paris Agreement has set a goal of holding global warming to "well below" 2 C, a goal that many scientists say may be out of reach.

Strengthening of West African Monsoon during Green Sahara period may have affected ENSO
Stockholm, Sweden (SPX) Jul 12, 2017
Accounting for a vegetated and less dusty Sahara reduces the variability of El Nino during the Mid-Holocene to closer to that which is observed in several paleoclimate records. This is shown by researchers at the Department of Meteorology at Stockholm University in a recent study, published in Nature Communications. Changes in the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) - an important driver o ... read more

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Separated by war, Iraqi children wait for parents

Haiti's army reborn 20 years after it was demobilized

The last survivors on Earth

Civilian deaths soar in Iraq, Syria: monitoring group

Breakthrough tool predicts properties of theoretical materials

Semiliquid chains pulled out of a sea of microparticles

A plastic planet

Strengthening 3-D printed parts for real-world use

New algorithm, metrics improve autonomous underwater vehicles' energy efficiency

MH370 search reveals hidden undersea world

Risky business for fish in oil-polluted reef waters

World's northernmost coral reef in Japan bleached

Thawing permafrost releases old greenhouse gas

Sentinel satellite captures birth of behemoth iceberg

Massive iceberg

US need for four polar icebreakers 'critical,' warns report

Kenyan cattle herders defend 'necessary' land invasions

Disneyland China falls a-fowl of huge turkey leg demand

Using treated graywater for irrigation is better for arid environments

Disneyland China falls a-fowl of huge turkey leg demand

Crustal limestone platforms feed carbon to many of Earth's arc volcanoes

Two killed in 6.7-magnitude quake off Greece and Turkey resorts

Seven killed as India floods death toll rises to 83

7.7-magnitude quake hits off Russia: US scientists

Peace deal eludes Senegal's Casamance, 35 years on

Rwandan forces killing suspects without trial: HRW

AU chair questions US stance on African peacekeeping

3 killed in north Mali clashes as UN condemns violence

Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

Father's presence encourages sibling bonding among baboons

Startup touts neuro-stimulation as 'medicine for the brain'

Towards a High-Resolution, Implantable Neural Interface

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement