Climate Change impact on mammals & birds ‘greatly under-estimated’ #auspol 

Climate change impact on mammals and birds ‘greatly under-estimated’
An international study published today involving University of Queensland research has found large numbers of threatened species have already been affected by climate change. 
Associate Professor James Watson of UQ’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Wildlife Conservation Society said the team of international researchers found alarming evidence of responses to recent climate changes in almost 700 birds and mammal species.
“There has been a massive under-reporting of these impacts,” he said.
“Only seven per cent of mammals and four per cent of birds that showed a negative response to climate change are currently considered ‘threatened by climate change and severe weather’ by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.”
Associate Professor Watson said the study reviewed the observed impacts of climate change on birds and mammals using a total of 130 studies, making it the most comprehensive assessment to date on how climate change has affected well-studied species.
“The results suggested it is likely that around half the threatened mammals (out of 873 species) and 23 per cent of threatened birds (out of 1272 species) have already responded negatively to climate change,” he said.
Lead author Michela Pacifici, of the Global Mammal Assessment Program at Sapienza University of Rome, said this implied that these species had a high probability of being negatively affected by future climatic changes.
Associate Professor Watson said the study clearly showed that the impact of climate change on mammals and birds had been greatly under-estimated and under-reported.

Flying foxes killed by heatwave last weekend in Chinchilla NSW
“This under-reporting is also very likely in less studied species groups. We need to greatly improve assessments of the impacts of climate change on all species right now,” he said.
“We need to communicate the impacts of climate change to the wider public and we need to ensure key decision-makers know significant change needs to happen now to stop species going extinct.
“Climate change is not a future threat anymore.”
The research, published in Nature Climate Change, involved researchers from UQ, Sapienza University of Rome, University College London, the Zoological Society of London, Birdlife International, the University of Cambridge, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Media: Associate Professor James Watson,, 0409 185 592.

Press link for more: University of Queensland



  1. Recently, it seems we are learning that climate science reports, studies, and models show that reality is worse than was anticipated. Let’s hope the #ScienceMarch (and satellite marches) April 22 will elevate awareness and spur meaningful action.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s grievous to witness this in so much extinction our lifetime. Consider unknown affects set in motion when species collapse. This may be a path to a human crisis if unwittingly bring about pandemics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry for the horribly inarticulate sentences.
      The photo of the Flying Fox or Fruit Bats made me want to hurry off a comment on how extinction, espically through habitat destruction, population pressures and climate, provide deadly zootonic pathogens with new hosts. Especially for us numerous and mobile humans! This creature and more as reported in David Quammen’s fascinating book, SPILLOVER, ANIMAL INFECTIONS AND THE NEXT HUMAN PANDEMIC. Here’s a good, short read from Yale Environment in 2012.

      Liked by 1 person

Appreciate your comments John

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s