Climate change may be affecting more animal species than presumed

Climate change may be affecting certain animal species that are not currently under conservational priorities, the International Union for Conservation of Nature claims. 

This research has also introduced a new one-of-a-kind method to evaluate how vulnerable certain species may be to climate change.

According to the study, around 70 percent of corals, 66 percent of amphibians and 83 percent of birds are under the threat of being severely affected by climate change, and are not considered threatened as yet.

As a result of this, these species are not receiving enough conservational importance, the researchers claim.

This study is also one of the biggest studies, having assessed the works of over a hundred scientists for a period of five years.

"The findings revealed some alarming surprises," Wendy Foden, a PhD student who led the study, explained. "We hadn't expected that so many species and areas that were not previously considered to be of concern would emerge as highly vulnerable to climate change. Clearly, if we simply carry on with conservation as usual, without taking climate change into account, we'll fail to help many of the species and areas that need it most."

Almost 15 percent of amphibians, 9 percent of birds and 9 percent of corals are already at a risk of being threatened to extinction owing to the climate change; and this new study may help shed light into how the ill effects of climate change extend far beyond these numbers, and may be affecting more living species than presumed.

Also, most of these plant and animal species which are currently facing a threat due to climate change, are of great importance to humans. Around 33 of these endangered plants are used as a source of fuel, food, medicine and construction material, 24 mammals and 19 fishes are used as a primary source of food.

"The study has shown that people in the region rely heavily on wild species for their livelihoods, and that this will undoubtedly be disrupted by climate change," Jamie Carr of IUCN Global Species Programme, added. "This is particularly important for the poorest and most marginalised communities who rely most directly on wild species to meet their basic needs."

The study is published in the journal PLOS ONE.

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