The Effects of Climate Change Research Paper

In the recent past, it has come to the attention of wildlife researchers that the consequences occasioned by global climatic variations, such as global warming and related effects, are not just threatening biodiversity, but are challenging both traditional and conventional matrixes of wildlife conservation (Considine, 2011). Indeed, scientists are today, more than ever, struggling to develop viable conservation solutions in a bid to preserve species, whose habitats are fast disappearing under climate change, and who may not be able to adapt to other bioregions (Gorman-Murray, 2009; Hughes, 2003).

One such species, according to Slattery (1997), is the marsupial mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus, the only Australian mammal whose natural range and distribution does not extend below the winter snowline. This effectively implies that the species can only survive in Australian alpine and subalpine bioregions as it is entirely dependent on winter snow for hibernation (see fig 1). These bioregions are rare in Australia, comprising only 0.15 percent of the total landmass (Gorman-Murray, 2009), but whose importance in conservation efforts is felt globally. According to this author, “…the significant contraction of this ecosystem means a severe reduction in numbers – and even total loss – of alpine-adapted fauna and flora species endemic to the Alps” (p. 3). Although studies have been done on the effects of climate change on the alpine-adapted ecologies, including that of the mountain pygmy-possums, few studies have ever attempted to evaluate the specific effects of climatic variations on the density and habitat use of this species. Such an evaluation will therefore form the basis of this particular study.

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