WILDLIFE IM­PACTS

Canadian Geographic - - CLIMATE CHANGE -

Few species have made more head­lines lately than the North At­lantic right whale, shown above in the Bay of Fundy, off New Bruns­wick’s coast. In­creased fish­ing traf­fic in the whales’ north­east­ern range, which has caused many to be­come en­tan­gled in fish­ing gear or be struck by ships, com­bined with ocean acid­i­fi­ca­tion that stresses the marine ecosys­tem means this species is on the brink of ex­tinc­tion. Else­where across the coun­try, changes in weather pat­terns caused by cli­mate change — such as drought in some places and greater pre­cip­i­ta­tion in oth­ers — will surely af­fect other wildlife, but those im­pacts will man­i­fest dif­fer­ently depend­ing on the species and its habi­tat. Yet sci­en­tists are cer­tain that north­ern species such as the po­lar bear, which the Com­mit­tee on the Sta­tus of En­dan­gered Wildlife in Canada lists as of spe­cial con­cern, will be es­pe­cially af­fected by the dra­matic de­cline of sea ice and per­mafrost.

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