Climate change is likely to accelerate biodiversity loss, threatening more animal species with extinction as their habitats change, according to a new FAO report released earlier this week.
Wildlife in a changing climate examines likely ecosystem and landscape changes in forests, mountains, wetlands, coastal areas, savannahs, grasslands and steppes and their impact on physical conditions, weather patterns and ecosystem functioning.
“Terrestrial, freshwater and marine wildlife will be severely affected unless we manage to cope with climate changes through decisive planning and action,” the report says.
Climate change will affect such physical conditions as snow cover and sea level and result in increases in the irregularity and severity of such extreme weather events as droughts and floods, the report says.
Wildlife consequences, according to the report, include the emergence and increased spread of pathogens, affecting wildlife, humans and livestock; more conflicts between humans and wildlife over the same dwindling resources; and ecosystem changes.
The report also considers a number of responses to climate change, including protecting current ecosystems, adaptive management – such as moving species away from changed ecological conditions or modifying habitats, and restoring degraded ecosystems, particularly those like mangroves, forests, savannahs and grasslands that are important for climate change resilience.
Read the full report.