Thursday, June 12, 2008

Extinction of Madagascar amphibians and Reptiles due to Global Warming

Climate change leading to the global warming is the biggest environmental threat facing the world. New studies of American Museum of Natural History revealed that due to the global warming species have started moving on to the tropical mountains as their habitats have shifted upwards. According to the latest studies it is predicted that three species of amphibians and reptiles that are found in the Madagascar's mountains could go extinct between 2050 and 2100 due to the habitat loss. Presently these species are compensating the habitat loss by moving upslope.

Among 30 species of geckos, chameleons, skinks, and frogs, and controlling for sampling effort, an average shift uphill of 19 to 51 meters (62 to 167 feet) was observed over the decade. When these results were compared with meteorological records and climate change simulations, the movement of animals could be linked to temperature increases of 0.1°C to 0.37°C (0.18°F to 0.67°F) over the same decade, which corresponds to an expected upslope movement of 17 to 74 meters (59 to 243 feet).

The government of Madagascar is currently planning to set aside 10 percent of its landmass for conservation purposes, and previous research by Raxworthy and colleagues published in Science in April used the distribution of 2,300 species of animals to map the areas of this island nation that provide adequate habitat for all species.

The Malagasy government is creating important new reserves and protecting forests. Sadly, however, with a phenomenon like global warming, species will move upslope, and so eventually may still lose all their habitat and go extinct.

Aparana Chauhan


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