June 30, 2010

UNEP: Migratory Species Exceptionally Vulnerable to Climate Change

Filed under: biodiversity, climate — inece @ 7:58 am

Endangered Loggerhead Turtle (unep.org)

Migratory species such as turtles and whales are exceptionally vulnerable to climate change, according to preliminary findings from a forthcoming United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report — Climate Change Vulnerability of Migratory Species.

Research by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) for UNEP’s Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (UNEP/CMS) shows that even the subtle changes in environmental conditions that could be caused by climate change could have catastrophic consequences for animals that migrate.

Migratory species are particularly threatened by climate change as they depend on different habitats to breed, feed and rest. The findings from the report will facilitate the Convention’s response to assist migratory species in adapting to climate change at a global level, CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said.

Among those species that could be affected are loggerhead turtles, which frequently migrate through British waters. Risks to them include the loss of suitable beaches for nesting due to sea-level rise, and a rise in temperature that could cause whole populations to be feminized, eradicating males from the species.

excerpted from UNEP Press Release

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