• Question: Which animals are the most endangered by climate change?

    Asked by Kai O-J on 8 Feb 2021.
    • Photo: Hazel Jeffery

      Hazel Jeffery answered on 8 Feb 2021:

      In 2016, the Bramble Cay melomys (rodent) was declared as the first mammal to go extinct because of climate change.
      It depends on which studies you look at but some of the species that are threatened include:
      -staghorn corals and other corals
      -ringed seal
      -polar bears
      -White lemuroid ringtail possum
      -Adélie penguin
      -sea turtles
      -Sierra Nevada blue butterfly
      -Hawaiian honeycreepers (birds) – these are threatened because they are susceptible to avian malaria and mosquitoes are more prevalent when their climate changes.

      Generally, up to 1 million species of plant and animal could be extinct within decades. Not just to do with climate change, but also because natural habitats are lost for use in agriculture.
      Climate change will lead to things like: changes to their habitat where species live (eg. corals in the ocean where the water is getting too warm for them), changes to their food supply/availability, and changes to predators or invasive species. There may be others too!