[public-health] ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : ANIMALS: SNOW LEOPARDS : ANIMALS: HABITATS: Snow Leopards Could Lose Two-Thirds of Their Habitat Due to Climate Change

 

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ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE :

ANIMALS: SNOW LEOPARDS :

ANIMALS: HABITATS:

Snow Leopards Could Lose Two-Thirds of Their Habitat
Due to Climate Change

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Snow Leopards Could Lose Two-Thirds of Their Habitat
Due to Climate Change

By John R. Platt

October 20, 2016

Scientific American

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/ extinction-countdown/snow-leopards-climate-change/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j96ssgh

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Can you imagine what the world would be like for snow leopards (Panthera uncia) if they didnt have enough snow? I mean, come on, the word snow is right in their name. Its kind of essential.

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Well, that world is coming. According to a paper published this month in the journal Biological Conservation, climate change will make nearly two-thirds of snow leopards current habitat inhospitable by the year 2070.
Now, snow leopards are pretty hardy cats, and they dont actually fully rely on snow. Theyve actually been shown to climb down from one mountain, cross through a desert, and then climb up another mountain. They already have 2.2 million square kilometers of habitat spread across more than a dozen countries in central Asia, so they could probably adapt if it were just a question of the world getting warmer. Heck, as the paper points out, leopards have lived on the Tibetan Plateau for about 7 million years and survived the last ice age.

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But according to the paper, warmer temperatures, increased precipitation, and changing vegetation patterns from climate change will have a big impact on the snow leopards prey species, which already exist at fairly low densities in those inhospitable mountain regions. In fact, that is already happening. As these changes progress, they will leave the snow leopards with a lot less food to eat.

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Meanwhile, warmer weather will also drive more people and development higher into the mountains, putting humans and the cats on a collision path. This could only be accelerated if the large dams planned for parts of this region take a chunk of human habitat, pushing people and leopards closer together and fragmenting cat populations from each other.

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The good news here is that the researchers have identified three mountain areas that wont be hit as hard by climate change.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 – 4584
jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[public-health] ENVIRONMENT: GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE : ANIMALS: SNOW LEOPARDS : ANIMALS: HABITATS: Snow Leopards Could Lose Two-Thirds of Their Habitat Due to Climate Change

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