Climate change, wildlife and tourism

 

Climate change is a very serious and growing concern, and although there are disputes as tote exact effects different regions, there seems little doubt that the climate is changing at an alarming rate, and that much of this is due to human activities.. Possible effects in coming decades include:

  • Extensive damage to marine ecosystem such as coral reefs, which are already under serious stress
  • Terrestrial habitat changes – e.g. changes in rainfall and temperature patterns favouring some species over others, mountain-top fauna and flora being invaded by species from lower altitudes but having nowhere to go themselves, mists no longer settling frequently on wet mountain forests, which will gradually dry out and change to other habitat types, more frequent (and in some cases permanent)  flooding of low-lying areas 
  • Extreme events such as heatwaves becoming more common – even if of short duration this can be fatal to many  species, which could become locally extinct
  • De-coupling of mutualism: e.g. fruiting periods and survival or seasonal movements of seed-dispersing frugivores, flowering patterns and survival or seasonal movements of pollinators
  • Changes in an animal’s resources (e.g. will Eucalyptus leaves become less digestible for koalas?)
  • Movements of diseases and parasites (will malaria and other tropical diseases become more widespread in popular tourism destinations?) Maybe movements of other species also (e.g. crocodiles moving south?) 
  • Rising sea levels and greater frequency of cyclones, fires and other extreme events could deter tourism in some regions

For evidence of climate change see

1 Links to other parts of this website

 

2 External links:

 

Effect of climate change on wildlife (external links)::

 

Advice to those already affected or likely to be affected by flooding (external link):