Jun 14, 2013

    Climate risks threaten more species

    MANY species of birds, amphibians and corals not currently under threat will be at risk from climate change and have been wrongly omitted from conservation planning, an international study said on Wednesday.

    The Amazon rainforest was among places where more types of birds and amphibians would be threatened as temperatures climbed, it said.

    Common corals off Indonesia would also be among the most vulnerable.

    Overall, up to 41 per cent of all bird species, 29 per cent of amphibians and 22 per cent of corals were "highly climate-change vulnerable, but are not currently threatened", the team of scientists wrote in the journal Plos One.

    "It was a surprise," said Dr Wendy Foden, of the global- species programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, who led the study.

    Experts had expected far more overlap between species threatened now and those vulnerable to global warming.

    Conservation priorities should be revised to take account of the emerging climate risks, the scientists wrote.