Top 10 Animals on the Brink of Extinction due to Climate Change – How We Can Help
Don’t you love animals? They are such a great addition to our society, knowing that beautiful animals like tigers, elephants, and leopards (to name a few) are still here is such an amazing thing to know and I couldn’t imagine a world without them.
Healthy ecosystems depend on plant and animal species as their foundations. When a species becomes endangered, it is a sign that the ecosystem is slowly falling apart. Each species that is lost triggers the loss of other species within its ecosystem. Humans depend on healthy ecosystems to purify our environment. Without healthy forests, grasslands, rivers, oceans and other ecosystems, we will not have clean air, water, or land.
Climate change has produced a number of threats to wildlife. Rising temperatures lower many species survival rates due to changes that lead to less food, less successful reproduction, and interfering with the environment for native wildlife.
Unfortunately, there are a variety of animals nearing extinction due to climate change, but luckily, there’s a chance for us to still keep these beautiful species from going extinct.
Here’s a list of the top 10 animals nearing extinction because of climate change and how you can help.
- Polar Bear
This animal is found in the Antarctic and because of climate change polar bears are facing an uncertain future due to dwindling sea ice. With longer and warmer summer seasons, much of the Arctic Ocean is ice-free for extended periods of time, which decreases the bears’ access to their primary prey which are seals.
- Ringed Seals
Ringed Seals are nearing extinction due to climate change. This animal is very dependent on sea ice and almost never comes on land. With rising warm spring temperatures and early sea ice breakup, nursing pups may be forced to be prematurely separated from their mothers which limits their survival.
- Monarch Butterflies
These beautiful creatures are nearing extinction because of climate change. The Monarch Butterfly is famous for their impressive migrations across North America to reach southern overwintering grounds. It is a pollinator species with an enormous impact on the health of our ecosystem. The Monarch butterfly is very sensitive to weather and climate, and with more heat in the weather it is killing the monarch butterfly and making the migration shorter.
The Koala is an animal known for being cute and cuddly. Australia’s most iconic fluffy marsupial, is likely to become rarer over the next century due to global warming. Koalas have a very specific, extremely specialized diet, consisting only of eucalyptus leaves. With an increase of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, it is decreasing the nutritional value of leaves, resulting in Koala malnutrition and starvation.
- Leather Black Sea Turtle
The Leatherback Sea Turtle is a giant among reptiles that are being affected by climate change. Climate change is a rapidly emerging threat to marine turtles globally, with the rise of sea levels and extreme weather events that wash nests away and decrease nesting habitat. In sea turtles, sand temperature determines the gender of developing young – warmer eggs turn into females, cooler eggs turn into males. If this trend continues, it can result with turtle sex ratios being skewed which can ultimately result in a population decrease.
- Atlantic Cod
This sea animal is a very popular food fish and has been the victim of decades of overfishing. With recent rising temperatures in the ocean, the spawning habitat of the Atlantic Cod fish has been reduced causing the population to decrease at alarming levels.
- Adelie Penguin
The Adelie Penguin is going through tough times while being in the Antarctic due to climate change. This bird is located in the West Antarctic Peninsula which is one of the most rapidly warming areas on the earth. The Adelie Penguin nesting grounds are quickly becoming unsuitable for chick survival and long periods of warmer temperatures are negatively affecting this animal’s ability to catch prey, such as fish and krill, to survive.
- American Pika
The American Pika are animals that are close to the rabbit and hare family. The American Pika are adapted to cold alpine conditions and are very intolerant of high temperatures. With rising temperatures, the American Pika has been retreating upslope to escape the rising temperature, but it is feared that the species will have nowhere left to go, which will greatly affect this species’ population.
- Staghorn Coral
The Staghorn Coral has experienced a rapid population decline of over 80%, mainly due to climate change. The Staghorn is reliant on symbiotic algae that lives in its cells for its nutrients but with rising water temperatures it causes the coral to expel its main source of nutrition. Rising temperatures will cause continued decline of valuable nutrients which creates a risk that many species will be lost.
- Columbia Spotted Frog
The Columbia Spotted Frog has a high risk of extinction from climate change. The increasing rise of water temperature in Yellowstone National Park, where this species resides, is causing a decline in the population, and with climate change causing a rapid spread of a deadly chytrid fungus to all amphibians, there may not be any Columbia Spotted Frogs in the future.
Ways You Can Help
Now that you know of some animals that are being affected by climate change and are nearing extinction because of it, there are some ways that you can help this cause and make a big difference in support of the cause.
Here a 2 major ways you can help:
- Donate to support the cause
Donate to a climate change activist organization like Nature Conservancy Canada, this organization helps protect Canada natural treasures and Wildlife and would be a great place to start with animals who are being affected by climate change.
2. Become an Advocate
This is a way you can help support this cause. Becoming an advocate for animals affected by climate change is a great way to get involved and bring awareness to your community. Share what you learn on social media and take initiative to support this ongoing issue by educating those around you and increasing awareness.