By: Parrys Raines, Category: Science, Date: 16 Nov 2009
Australia’s Threatened Species - do we want to lose them?
Imagine if we lost some of our well known species of animals. Imagine if we lost the Kangaroo and the Koala. Well it is possible that these famous Australian icons and other species could be lost due to climate change.
The kangaroo will be affected by climate change because of severe weather. Long hot periods without rainfall will cause the waterholes to dry up. The grass they eat won’t grow so they will suffer from dehydration and starvation. There are many species of Kangaroos and the smaller ones are finding it very difficult as they are vulnerable to predators. A lot of the predators are introduced species. Hotter and drier conditions expected from climate change puts pressure on the kangaroo’s habitat and food supplies.
The koala sadly will be also affected by climate change. With an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means the leaves the koala eats do not have the necessary level of nutrients they need. The nutrients in the leaves are now less so they have to eat more. With more bush fires predicated and the spread of urbanisation this added problem puts pressure on them and their habitat.
Another species threatened is the Green Turtle. Turtles are one of my favourite marine animals. The green turtle is in danger because the sand where they lay their eggs is too warm. The temperature of the sand determines if the eggs will be female or male. The hotter the sand the more females are born. If only females are being born it puts pressure on the species to continue. As temperatures increase not only does the sand heat up but their foraging grounds are lost through coral bleaching and seagrass burning.
The Great Barrier Reef is a vital home for animals and rare mammals such as Dolphins, Dugongs and Humpback Whales that only give birth in its waters. If the temperature increases by a couple of degrees it would really affect whole Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs are home to 25 per cent of all marine life. These Reefs have delicate ecosystems where all species that live there rely on each other for survival. As temperatures rise and the water gets warmer diseases and harmful parasites thrive which can attack marine animals.
We all need to make some changes to same our famous icons.