About half of the world’s species are “on the move, moving to higher altitudes or more northerly locations in search of food and familiar habitats”, InsideClimate News reported last week.
“Those that can’t keep up with the pace of change face extinction, and if warming continues at its current pace, one in six species is projected to go extinct,” writes ICN’s Sabrina Shankman. “That number falls to one in 20 if the rise is constrained to 2°C, the global climate goal— still a catastrophic number.”
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While “there is a precedent that species are able to move their distributions and adapt,” WWF Senior Program Officer Nikhil Advani told ICN, it’s based on the historical record for more gradual changes in habitat. “What we’re concerned about now is the unprecedented rate of change.”
Shankman adds that “these are not projections into the future. These are the stories of iconic species—like the African elephant, or the Common Loon—that are on the move right now, searching for ways to survive as their habitats change around them.”
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