Sonoma State University ecologist, Paul Pappas, says there’s a growing body of research suggesting that as climate change worsens, animals may lose their habitat and their protection.
“We’re seeing more of an increase in some of the animals that are being targeted because of climate,” Pappam said.
“What that means is that it’s not just a climate change issue; it’s an economic issue as well.”
The economic consequences for wildlife are pretty clear.
You know, for example, in the Sierra Nevada, we’ve seen that a lot of these animals, the mountain lions and the coyotes, have been driven off the landscape.
So we see a lot more of these kinds of events, and so I think that is a direct result of climate disruption.
“Pappam’s study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at the relationship between a range of different factors, including habitat loss, temperature, soil conditions and water quality, in a region where he says species such as mountain lions, wolves and mountain lions have been decimated by human development.
He says while these factors were all statistically related to climate change, the biggest difference between the region where the study was done and the rest of the country was that the researchers found the relationship was driven by a combination of economic and climate change factors.
Pappas says one of the most striking findings was that while economic factors were statistically related, the relationship of temperature, air quality and soil conditions were the most important.”
It really highlights that the environment is a very important factor, not only as a predictor of climate, but as a risk factor for these animals,” Papas said.
Pamper said this type of study is important because it helps scientists better understand the impacts of climate on wildlife.”
What’s really important is that when we study these animals in these settings, they’re doing things in a way that we haven’t been able to do before,” Pamper said.”
And so what we’re trying to do is sort of see how this relationship between climate change and the effects on these animals is going to play out in the future.