We often hear of how sea animals are affected by global warming, but land animals also face negative consequences from climate change.
Scientists have said that if animals can’t adapt to changes in temperature, then extinction is often the next option for these species. What are some of the most at-risk land animals? The list includes Lumholtzs tree kangaroos that need wet and cold climates to survive, and are threatened by an increase in temperature and dry spells.
When the heat and changes in rain patterns affect the land, animals are obviously also immediately targeted. Many are forced to migrate to areas of higher altitude if they cannot cope with the climate changes, but those that cannot risk dying.
Food Source Problems
When plants are affected by the heat, this can lead to certain crops thriving under the temperature increases while others don’t survive, putting animals’ food sources at risk. The Hawksbill turtle, for example, is harmed by higher temperatures affecting the ocean. A decrease in the supply of sea grass and coral, two of its primary food sources, result in it going hungry.
Some animals that predominantly live at sea have had to migrate to land for food. An example is the polar bear who has started eating food from the shore, such as snow geese and berries, because of the melting sea ice. The lower amount of Arctic sea ice has affected polar bears so much that the U.S. Endangered Species Act has listed them as a threatened species.
What we Can Do
If we take action in our own lives to lower our heat consumption, this in turn will help land animals because we’ll be contributing to a decrease in global temperature. Doing things such as washing clothing in cool water can make a difference. This alone can save a household up to 500 pounds of carbon dioxide on a yearly basis. Only using the electricity that you need is another must. Avoid leaving lights and appliances on as they suck energy when they are not being actively used, which is an unnecessary waste of resources.