Climate

Change

Climate change in the form of human-caused global warming is perhaps the most serious threat to species survival in the last 10,000 years. Across the globe, shifting climates have meant that plants and animals have had to shift their distributions, habits, or habitats, or else die. Extinctions from human-caused climate change are mounting, and many more are on the horizon.

Robber frogs

Eggs of this undescribed rain frog (Pristimantis) are laid in moist areas, where they hatch out into tiny froglets, bypassing the tadpole stage altogether. However, they are dependent on moist environments for the eggs to develop. Warming of their habitat could also mean drying, which would be fatal.

 

Global warming has impacted survival in often unsuspected ways. For instance, sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches, depending on certain environmental temperatures for them to incubate. If the eggs incubate at too low a temperature, all the hatchlings will be male; at too high a temperature, all will be female. With rising temperatures, that means that there is a scarcity of males, which in turn means that some females will not be able to breed. Combined with other troubles that sea turtles face with fishing and egg-collecting, global warming might make the difference between species survival and not.

Crotaphytus dickersonae

The brilliant blue Dickerson’s collared lizard (Crotaphytus dickersonae) has a very limited geographic range in harsh desert vegetation along the Sea of Cortez in Mexico. It is uncertain weather these magnificent animals will be able to adapt by shifting their geographic range to cooler areas as their habitats heat up.

 

Global warming is hitting amphibians especially hard. Partly since frogs and salamanders have unprotected skin, they are particularly prone to environmental changes. Also, many frogs and salamanders have extremely restricted geographic ranges; sometimes a species is found in just one locality. This can mean trouble for those species restricted to single mountain tops. For instance, we have identified over 15 species of frog on a single mountaintop in western Ecuador that are both new to science and found nowhere else in the world. They are found in could forest, that is always cool and moist. With climate change, many of these mountaintop habitats are expected to disappear. Whereas at lower elevations, if things heat up, animals can potentially migrate to cooler climes up slopes, at mountaintops there is nowhere cooler to get to, and species can become extinct in short order.

IMGP2581 The Biodiversity Group

The females of the Riobama marsupial frog (Gastrotheca riobambae) carry eggs in a pouch on their backs until they hatch. Once abundant throughout the large city of Quito in Ecuador, its populations have been decimated through habitat destruction and possibly climate change.

Threatened & Endangered Species
Climate Change
Reptiles
Insects
Amphibians
Amphibian Population Declines

Did You Know?

Snakes like boas and rattlesnakes have heat sensing organs on their faces to detect warm-blooded prey.

Beetles (Order Coleoptera) constitute the largest group of animals in the entire Animal Kingdom.  Some 400,000 species have been described.

Many salamanders have no lungs at all and rely on breathing completely through their skin.

The word “bug” actually refers to a specific group of insects that include bedbugs, cicadas, leafhoppers and aphids. To prevent confusion, these creatures are sometimes known as “true bugs”.

Even though reptiles and amphibians are sometimes called “cold-blooded” they actually get heat from their surroundings and can be a lot warmer than so-called “warm-blooded” animals like mammals and birds.

The most toxic animal on earth, the golden poison frog, was once used to coat poison darts by indigenous peoples in what is now Colombia. A single frog holds enough toxin to kill 20,000 mice!

Toxin from a poison frog is now being used to develop a powerful new pain-reliever.

Gila monster venom was used to create perhaps the best treatment for diabetes available today.

What We’re Doing

Our landmark research on cloud forest ecosystems in Ecuador is showing us how global warming is affecting amphibians and reptiles. Our study site at Cerro Pata de Pajaro in Ecuador is under severe threat from global warming. But we have found over 20 new species of frog, a potentially new species of snake, and several new species of stick insect there. Our work is paving the way to save these species by getting the word out that you can make a difference to save them!

What You Can Do

Reduce your emissions! To stop and ultimately reverse the effects of climate change, we need to make a lot of changes, some obvious, some not what you would expect. Did you know that the most important step you can take to curb global warming is to cut meat from your diet? Beef is particularly bad, since cows emit methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas, and huge areas of rainforest have been destroyed for cattle pastures. Since the forest holds carbon, when it is cut down for cattle pasture, that carbon is released into the atmosphere that can further warm the planet.

Privacy and Refund Policy

Privacy Policy

TBG respects and protects your privacy. TBG will never sell or rent your personal information to other individuals or companies. When you make a donation, your name will be included in TBG newsletters and other publications. If you do not wish to share your name, or you choose to make your donation anonymously, TBG will not publish your name.

When you create an account with TBG you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation for your records, and occasional email and postal delivery updates. If you do not wish to hear from us, simply press unsubscribe at the bottom of emails, or contact us to stop receiving postal deliveries.

 

Refund Policy

If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to TBG, we will honor your request for a refund made within 5 business days of your donation. To request a refund, call 520 647-1434 (US). Refunds are returned using the original method of payment, except cash donations will be returned via check. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Refunds for any products may be made within 15 days of receipt of item(s), upon item return. Call 520 647-1434 for arrangements.

Refunds policies for activities such as workshops and internships are given on the application pages for those activities.

Privacy and Refund Policy

Privacy Policy

TBG respects and protects your privacy. TBG will never sell or rent your personal information to other individuals or companies. When you make a donation, your name will be included in TBG newsletters and other publications. If you do not wish to share your name, or you choose to make your donation anonymously, TBG will not publish your name.

When you create an account with TBG you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation for your records, and occasional email and postal delivery updates. If you do not wish to hear from us, simply press unsubscribe at the bottom of emails, or contact us to stop receiving postal deliveries.

 

Refund Policy

If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to TBG, we will honor your request for a refund made within 5 business days of your donation. To request a refund, call 520 647-1434 (US). Refunds are returned using the original method of payment, except cash donations will be returned via check. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Refunds for any products may be made within 15 days of receipt of item(s), upon item return. Call 520 647-1434 for arrangements.

Refunds policies for activities such as workshops and internships are given on the application pages for those activities.

Privacy and Refund Policy

Privacy Policy

TBG respects and protects your privacy. TBG will never sell or rent your personal information to other individuals or companies. When you make a donation, your name will be included in TBG newsletters and other publications. If you do not wish to share your name, or you choose to make your donation anonymously, TBG will not publish your name.

When you create an account with TBG you will receive an acknowledgment of your donation for your records, and occasional email and postal delivery updates. If you do not wish to hear from us, simply press unsubscribe at the bottom of emails, or contact us to stop receiving postal deliveries.

 

Refund Policy

If you have made an error in making your donation or change your mind about contributing to TBG, we will honor your request for a refund made within 5 business days of your donation. To request a refund, call 520 647-1434 (US). Refunds are returned using the original method of payment, except cash donations will be returned via check. If you made your donation by credit card, your refund will be credited to that same credit card.

Refunds for any products may be made within 15 days of receipt of item(s), upon item return. Call 520 647-1434 for arrangements.

Refunds policies for activities such as workshops and internships are given on the application pages for those activities.

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