Animals evolve faster due to the Climate Crisis

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Animals evolve faster due to the Climate Crisis

A study published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution said that the evolution of some species is too rapid and the cause is due to climate change. Evolutions that typically take thousands of years take place in space in a century and a half.

Animals, such as Australian parrots, have shown an average 10 percent increase in beak size over the past 150 years, while other birds in North America and Australia have undergone similar evolutionary processes. Wild mice also have larger ears and some bats wider wings.

While 1 in 10 of a species may be able to survive by evolving, 9 others may not be able to live long enough to pass the mutation genes to the next generation. The larger parts of the body are the natural response to rising temperatures, because the larger the surface, the more heat the body can dissipate.

Sara Ryding, author of the study, said: "I don't want the conclusion to be: oh, animals are evolving in response to climate change and that means they're going to be fine. Because that's just not true. a faster pace than ever.

Evolutionary change can be a slow process, taking thousands - or even more - years, but we also know that strong selection can lead to more rapid evolutionary change."

Kenya: the country's fauna at risk

Five animal species have been classified as critically endangered, according to a Kenya Wildlife Institute survey of wildlife conditions in Kenya.

These species have a probability of extinction of at least 50% within ten years or three generations according to the UICN criteria of the United Nations. The worsening of the general picture depends on various factors, such as the intensification of human settlements, mainly due to the increase in population in urban areas, remains the largest of the risk factors observed, reports the government document.

One cause is to be found in the constant demographic increase that has affected the country of the Horn of Africa in recent years. furthermore, climate change, the consequent scarcity of resources and poaching, have for some time fueled the threat to the national fauna.

To this is added the progressive reduction of the habitat, eroded by the infrastructural plans. Najib Balala, Kenyan Minister of Tourism, said: "This will require more attention if we are to avert the danger of isolating wildlife in pockets of protected areas."

A concrete example concerns the black antelope: according to the latest available data, in fact, there are fewer than one hundred specimens still present on the national territory. To the alarming bulletin resulting from the census conducted between May and July, the first in the history of Kenya to affect the entire national territory, there are nine other endangered species, including elephants, lions and cheetahs.

The conservation status of giraffes has also exceeded the critical threshold, confirming a drastic decline that comes from afar: less than 40% of specimens in the last 30 years.