As climate change progresses, the threat of invasive species will also grow.
Island wildlife face growing threats from invasive species. One factor that will play an increasingly important role is climate change. Climate change has been proving favorable to invasive species–and disastrous to native wildlife around the world.
The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly clear in places such as Palmerston North, New Zealand, which had its hottest year on record in 2016. Forest and Bird senior media advisor Megan Hubscher, explained:
Previously when the climate has changed our native species have been able to adapt, by shifting their ranges. But in the Manawatu the landscape has changed so much – we’ve removed forests, built roads and cities, destroyed wetlands – that they can’t do this anymore.
In New Zealand, invasive species are a well-known threat, but experts expect rising temperatures to benefit rats and hedgehogs while native species suffer. Horizons Regional Council biodiversity coordinator Aaron Madden illustrates the concerns:
Previously, harsh winters with lots of frosts have kept [non-native species] out of the Manawatu-Wanganui Region or limited their impact if they have managed to establish here. Milder winters in our region will allow more of them to invade and flourish.
Climate change will impact native plant and animal species immediately and in the long run. Understanding these impacts and removing invasive species promptly and effectively are key to protecting the native wildlife now facing a changing climate.
Featured photo: New Zealand Forest. Credit: Malcolm Peacey
- United Nations—Protecting the High Seas and Seabirds - April 10, 2019
- BBC’s The Newsroom: Restore These 169 Islands to Curb the Extinction Crisis - April 8, 2019
- Invasive Rats—A Growing Threat to Sea Turtles - March 27, 2019
- Calling All Innovators—Islands Need Your Help! - March 14, 2019
- Conservation Challenges of the Higo Chumbo Cactus - March 1, 2019
- Protecting Our World’s Oldest Wild Bird - February 21, 2019
- Partnership and Conservation on Tetiaroa Atoll - February 6, 2019
- Seeker Video: Galápagos Land Iguanas Return to Santiago Island After a 180 Year Absence - January 18, 2019
- Conservation and Ecosystem Recovery on Ngeanges Island, Palau - January 16, 2019
- BBC’s The Inquiry Features Island Conservation CEO, Karen Poiani - January 14, 2019