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700 Species Will Lose Habitat Due to Warming by 2070, Study Finds | India News

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What drives climate change is compounded by human activity. In another 50 years, high emissions could push most habitats of 35% of mammals and 29% of birds out of the spaces in which they now live and into different countries. But if they try to move into these new spaces, political borders may not allow it.
A recent new study by researchers from Durham University, BirdLife International and Newcastle University, published in the ‘Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences’, has mapped the impact of the 32,000 km of fortified international borders in wildlife and has found that 696 species of flightless mammals would be affected. And three political barriers pose the biggest conservation challenges: across the United States-Mexico, India-Myanmar, and China-Russia.
“For the India-Myanmar border, we estimate that 128 species of flightless mammals would not be able to cross if barriers were completed along much of their length,” joint study leader Mark Titley told TOI. That includes the endangered Indian pangolin, banteng, large-spotted civet, and vulnerable sloth bear. It is difficult to estimate how many have already been affected. “But we estimate that 783 species of birds and mammals live around this border, including 44 that are endangered according to the IUCN Red List.”
Of the 12,700 species of land mammals and birds they studied, 60% of mammals and 71% of birds are found outside national borders. And the poorest countries, with lower CO2 emissions, could face higher losses. “The stark inequalities between those who contributed the most to climate change and those who will be most affected raise really important questions of international justice,” Titley said.
The areas where mammals are most likely to have to move and find new homes are the US-Mexico border, the western Amazon, the Andes, central and eastern Africa, the Himalayan region, and the China-Russia border. For birds, the western Amazon was found to be more vulnerable.
To begin with, border fences are problematic from a conservation point of view. Adding political barriers would mean that a species would face different types of threats on both sides of a border, “especially in conflict areas,” the study said. “The Himalayan region … is a globally important biodiversity hotspot that also spans a variety of altitudes and different climate zones. That means that many species can move to higher elevations to stay cool as the weather warms, and they may have to cross political boundaries while doing so, ”Titley explained.
A Himalayan goral, for example, can be found at an elevation between 900m and 4000m. But if the bush and temperate forests in which you live were no longer where they used to be, due to climate change, you would have to move.
If it did, in China and Nepal, it would face the threat of hunting. In Bhutan, the challenge would be overgrazing. And in India, its habitat is being altered in the lower reaches of the Himalayas and northeast India, says the IUCN.
Professor Stephen Willis, the joint study leader, said: “If we are serious about protecting nature, expanding transboundary conservation initiatives and reducing the impacts of border barriers on species will be really important, although there is no substitute for addressing greenhouse gas emissions at the root of the matter. ”

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