As climate change alters habitats and disrupts ecosystems, where will animals move to survive? And will human development prevent them from getting there?
As Global warming alters wildlife habitats, animals will adapt to changes by seeking cooler climates. The maps below created by Dan Majka for The Nature Conservancy shows the average direction mammals (pink), birds (blue), and amphibians (yellow) need to take to track hospitable climates in North and South America.
Fences, roads, walls, bridges, cities, etc. are some of the barriers that will obstruct the animals’ migration and could cause them to go extinct is they are not able to overcome them. There are ways we can help wildlife be on their way: Establishing wildlife corridors to reconnect natural regions is possible by “removing fencing, adding wildlife overpasses (or underpasses) to major roadways, and better routing of pipelines and power lines”, says The Nature Conservancy.
Researchers from University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy modeled potential habitat for 2954 species using climate change projections and the climatic needs of each species. The following map focuses on the projected major paths that birds will take to reach cooler climates in the US.
Although, while maintaining connectivity is a very important aspect of protecting wildlife against our warming global climate, fighting climate change in the first place is key to protecting all the animals roaming this planet.
Lawler, JJ, et al. 2013. Projected climate-driven faunal movement routes. Ecology Letters 16(8): 1014-1022.
McGuire, JL, et al. 2016. Achieving climate connectivity in a fragmented landscape. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 113: 7195-7200.
Science protects the health of our communities, the safety of our families, the education of our children, the foundation of our economy and jobs, and the future we all want to live in and preserve for coming generations. The March for Science will celebrate the scientific method and advocate for using evidence in decision-making in all levels of government.
Earth Day scientists and their advocates will march in the streets to support scientific research and protest antiscience policies. More than 500 demonstrations are planned for Saturday across the world.
– Evidence-based policy and regulations in the public interest
– Cutting-edge science education
– Diversity and Inclusion in STEM
The main event will be co-hosted by Questlove (of the Roots and The Tonight Show) and Derek Muller (who runs a popular science YouTube channel). Jon Batiste and Stay Human (the band for Stephen Colbert’s Late Show) will serve as the house band.
Started as a grassroots movement, Earth Day created public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and contributed to the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act and several other environmental laws. The idea for Earth Day was proposed by then-Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, who died in 2005.
Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution. The day, marked on April 22, is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects.
The theme for 2017 is “Environmental & Climate Literacy”.
Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection. Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.
A new study published in the journal of BioScience in 14 April, 2017 suggests a Global Deal for Nature—a companion to the Paris Climate Deal—to promote increased habitat protection and restoration, national- and ecoregion-scale conservation strategies, and the empowerment of indigenous peoples to protect their sovereign lands.
It assesses progress towards the protection of 50% of the terrestrial biosphere to address the species-extinction crisis and conserve a global ecological heritage for future generations. The protection statuses of ecoregions of the world. This map shows the high levels of habitat remaining in some of the most species-rich areas on Earth, including the Brazilian Amazon, the Congo basin, and the islands of Indonesia.
Eric Dinerstein, et al.; An Ecoregion-Based Approach to Protecting Half the Terrestrial Realm. BioScience 2017 bix014. doi: 10.1093/biosci/bix014