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Old 18-04-14, 19:29   #1
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Important Future is Bleak:Disaster Map Predicts Cyclones/Droughts

The Future is Bleak:
Disaster Map Predicts Cyclones and Droughts Caused by Climate Change could Threaten Mammal Populations

  • Over 90% of black howler monkey and Yucatan spider monkey habitat has already been damaged by cyclones
  • Scientists predict areas where mammals most at risk from extreme weather
By Daily Mail UK

Mammals could be in for a stormy ride and face a greater risk of extinction due to predicted increases in extreme weather conditions, according to a paper published today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Scientists have mapped out land mammal populations and combined this with their knowledge of where droughts and cyclones are most likely to occur around the globe.

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Global risks: The map shows how an increase in cyclones will affect the world's mammal populations

Risk of extinction: The areas in red show the distribution of primate species exposed to droughts

Doing this has allowed them to identify species at high risk of exposure to extreme weather. Almost six thousand species of land mammals were assessed in the paper, published this week in the journal Conservation Letters.

ZSL's Eric Ameca y Juárez, the lead author of the paper, says: 'Approximately a third of the species assessed have at least a quarter of their range exposed to cyclones, droughts or a combination of both.

'If these species are found to be highly susceptible to these conditions, it will lead to a substantial increase in the number of mammals classified as threatened by the IUCN under the category "climate change and severe weather".'

At risk: Species like the black howler monkey are in danger

In particular, primates, our closest relatives - which are already among the most endangered mammals in the world - are thought to be especially at risk.

Over 90 per cent of black howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) and Yucatan spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis) known habitats have been damaged by cyclones in the past, and studies have documented ways they are able to adapt to the detrimental effects of these natural disasters.

Yucatan spider monkey: Its natural habitat has been damaged by cyclones in the past

A bleak future: A female black howler monkey with her young

But very little is known about the impacts of these climatic extremes on other species.

In Madagascar, entire known populations of the western woolly lemur (Avahi occidentalis) and the golden bamboo lemur (Hapalemur aureus) have been exposed to both cyclones and drought.
These endangered species, found only in Madagascar are also amongst the world's most evolutionary distinct, yet remain highly understudied.

ZSL's research fellow Dr Nathalie Pettorelli says: 'This is the first study of its kind to look at which species are at risk from extreme climatic events.
'There are a number of factors which influence how an animal copes with exposure to natural disasters.
'It is essential we identify species at greatest risk so that we can better inform conservation management in the face of global environmental change.'


Species with high levels of exposure to both droughts and cyclones and already classified as endangered or critically endangered:

Avahi cleesei – Bemaraha wooly lemur
Avahi occidentalis – Western woolly lemur
Brachytarsomys villosa - hairy-tailed antsangy
Eulemur macaco flavifrons – Blue eyed black lemur
Eptesicus malagasyensis – Isalo serotine
Eulemur sanfordi - Sanford's lemur
Galidictis grandidieri – Grandidier’s mongoose
Hapalemur aureus – Golden Bamboo lemur
Hypogeomys antimena – Malagasy giant rat
Lepilemur ankaranensis – Ankarana Sportive lemur
Macrotarsomys ingens- Greater big-footed mouse
Microcebus berthae – Madame Berthe’s mouse lemur
Microcebus ravelobensis - golden-brown mouse lemur
Microcebus sambiranensis – Sambirano mouse lemur
Microcebus tavaratra – Northern rufous mouse lemur
Microgale jenkinsae – Jenkins shrew tenrec
Microgale jobihely - Northern Shrew Tenrec
Nesomys lambertoni - Western nesomys
Prolemur simus – Greater bamboo lemur
Propithecus candidus - silky sifaka
Propithecus coquereli – Coquerel’s sifaka
Propithecus coronatus – Crowned sifaka
Propithecus edwardsi - Milne-Edwards' sifaka
Propithecus perrieri – Perrier’s sifaka
Propithecus tattersalli - golden-crowned sifaka
Pteropus rodricensis – Rodrigues flying fox
Varecia rubra – red ruffed lemur
Varecia variegata subcincta – white-belted black and white ruffed lemur

VIDEO: Nasa shows the changes in our weather from 1880 until the present day - all condensed into just 26 seconds.

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