Climate Change and Endangered Animals

Explore climate change and endangered animals, see how humans affect the planet, and learn how to protect wildlife and fight climate change through conservation and individual actions.

Today, we are going to embark on an exciting educational journey to learn about the twin challenges of climate change and endangered animals that our world is facing. Imagine a world where animals like polar bears, pandas, tigers, or dolphins are no longer with us. This may be our future if we do not act to combat climate change and protect these incredible creatures.

First, we will learn about climate change. Climate change is like the Earth’s thermostat going erratic leading to unpredictable weather patterns. Several human activities are responsible for these changes. We are cutting down trees, and burning coal, oil and gas to satisfy our needs. These activities are responsible for climate change. Now. Due to climate change, we are facing frequent droughts, storms, floods, and sea level rise. 

Next, we will learn about how climate change affects animals. The haywire climate pattern has led to shifts in the range of native plant species, invasion of non-native species and erratic fruiting and flowering. All these changes are leading to unavailability of food resources for the fauna depending on these plants or in habitats. Imagine a polar bear that inhabits the north pole (Arctic) and relies on seals that lie on ice floats for their food. With climate change, the melting ice makes it difficult for polar bears to find food for survival. Sea turtles are another animal affected by climate change. Sea turtles lay eggs on beaches. But now baby turtles are at risk as beaches are flooded due to sea level rise. 

Like the polar bear and sea turtles that are endangered, many other fauna are at risk too from impacts of climate change that affect habitats, as well as food and water sources. Unique and endangered species such as snow leopards, tigers, Gangetic dolphins and the great Indian Bustard face several challenges from human impacts, and climate change is one more. 

Finally, we should learn about what we can do to save wildlife. We need to know what steps are being taken and how each of us can contribute. Project Tiger is a wildlife conservation movement of India that started in 1973 to save the tiger. Other missions include the National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem and the Ganga Action Plan. As a young citizen, your contribution to preservation of endangered animals and mitigating climate change is extremely important. Reduce carbon footprint by turning off lights and electronics when you are not using. Use public transportation and carpool. Cut down plastic use, recycle and reduce waste. Learn about waste management and create awareness to reduce pollution. Learn about wildlife and the effect of climate change on wildlife. Discuss with your family and friends and make them aware of the positive changes one can bring with small changes in lifestyles.

About the author:

Neeti is part of Centre for Climate Change and Sustainability at the Azim Premji University.