Sunday, 26 May 2019

Climate change threatens 26 native species in Great Dividing Range, study finds


Australian researchers say governments must step up and protect critical habitats to give wildlife a chance
Thu 16 May 2019 00.00 BSTLast modified on Thu 16 May 2019 00.02 BST
More than 20 native animals would disappear from the Great Dividing Range before the end of the century if global emissions continue at business as usual rates, according to new analysis by Australian researchers.
The University of Queensland and Australian Conservation Foundation study, published this week in Global Ecology and Conservation, examines native fauna in a part of the country that is home to three-quarters of the population and much of Australia’s biodiversity.
The scientists and policy experts used climate models from the UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change to assess how many endemic species could face extinction in the Great Dividing Range due to warming temperatures.
They examined 1,062 native species, and found 26 would go extinct by 2085 if the currently high global emissions trajectory continues. In that scenario, they assumed global warming of 3.7C by 2085.
Of the 26 species the researchers said would not survive, 11 are found only in the Great Dividing Range and nowhere else on earth.
Under a lower emissions pathway of 1.8C the Great Dividing Range would become climatically unsuitable for 16 species by 2085, including the 11 endemic species.
“The way emissions are tracking, we will lose a raft of species found nowhere else in the world, including the blue-winged parrot, Mount Claro rock wallaby, magnificent brood frog and painted spadefoot toad,” the study’s lead author, Sean Maxwell, said.
Another author, James Watson, said: “The fact is that there are 11 endemic species, which based off of this research, it appears they will be blasted off the face of the earth because there’s nowhere suitable for them to live.”


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