Population Trends in the Face of Climate Change

Rapid warming is associated with population decline among terrestrial birds and mammals globally (2018) Spooner et al., Global Change Biology DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14361

The Indian Pond Heron, one species which could face population declines as a result of climate change
The Indian Pond Heron, one species which could face population declines as a result of climate change (Image Credit: Dr Raju Kasambe CC A-S 4.0)

The Crux

The term climate change is almost ubiquitous these days. Humans tend to concentrate on how the warming of certain parts of the globe will affect them, but the species we share the globe with also experience a myriad of effects at the hands of climate change. These include rising temperatures constricting the ranges of some species and concurrently extending the range of others, who can move into areas that were previously too cold for them.

Whilst the focus of climate change has often been on species range shifts, the effects on species abundances are less well studied. This paper attempts to quantify the effects of climate change on a large number of bird and mammal species, whilst accounting for other factors which could affect species abundances, like rates of land use by humans, species body size, and whether or not the animals are in a protected area.

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