Climate change is causing “mass die-offs” of animals – Salon

by | Jun 18, 2022 | Climate Change

With a vast portion of the U.S. experiencing record high heat indexes, climate change is taking a toll on many other parts of the world as well, with a deadly impact on humans and animals alike. 
Graeme Taylor, principal science adviser at the New Zealand Department of Conservation, recently spoke to NBC News about recent “mass die-offs” of the flightless little blue penguin, which is native to that area. According to Taylor, hundreds of the birds have washed up dead on New Zealand beaches since May.
“All the birds were at least half the normal weight, they had no fat on them at all and their muscle tissue had wasted away,” Taylor said. Tests were performed on the birds to rule out disease and biotoxins, and it was determined that the birds died from starvation. 
While it’s not unusual for animals like the little blue penguin to die from severe weather, the fact that they’re now dying this frequently, and in this high of number, is what’s alarming. Taylor points out that mass deaths of this size usually happen around once a decade, not three times in six years.
RELATED: Scientists say Yellowstone flood is a climate change red flag
“Rising temperatures lower many species survival rates due to changes that lead to less food, less successful reproduction, and interfering with the environment for native wildlife,” according to the National Park Service. “Increased precipitation from climate change is contributing to more frequent and extreme weather events such as flooding. The higher frequency of flooding has detrimental effects on wildlife because they can destroy key pieces of ecosystems an …

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