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Polar bears and 50 other species threatened by climate change

  • Ekta Vishwakarma // Shutterstock
    1/ Ekta Vishwakarma // Shutterstock

    Polar bears and 50 other species threatened by climate change

    Climate change has emerged as a more urgent issue than ever, especially considering the Trump administration’s moves to roll back Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on carbon emissions, including from coal-fueled power plants.

    Animals such as koalas, sea turtles, and polar bears find themselves at the heart of the crisis, and those three are just a start. Some reports say that by the middle of the century, a third of the world's animal species will become extinct if humans continue to release harmful greenhouse gases at the current rate.

    Some animals are able to adapt to alterations in temperature and weather, but others can survive or feed only in certain climates. Take the polar bear, which depends on sea ice for hunting and mating. Scientists note that climate change is causing sea ice to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the polar bear’s survival.  

    Organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund are taking measures to protect these endangered and vulnerable species, but they can do only so much. Take a look at 50 of the world’s animal species that fall into the categories of vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered due to climate change.

    RELATED: 46 of the world’s most endangered species

  • Pixel-mixer // Pixabay
    2/ Pixel-mixer // Pixabay

    Snow leopard

    These alpine felines can be found in the mountains of China, Nepal, and India, among other Asian countries. The World Wildlife Fund classifies the snow leopard as vulnerable and cautions that treeline shift from greenhouse gases could significantly deplete the animal’s habitat. Dwindling populations of this big cat’s prey, such as pikas and hares, also plays a role in its status. Although the leopard has gone from "endangered to "at risk," the species is still slated to lose about 10% of its population over the next three generations.

     

  • Chen Wu // Wikimedia Commons
    3/ Chen Wu // Wikimedia Commons

    Giant panda

    This vulnerable species of bear—and longtime logo of the WWF—dwells mainly in bamboo forests in the mountains of Western China. Increasing temperatures cause the panda’s main food source, bamboo, to abruptly flower and die, which causes the bears to seek alternative areas to feed and live. In order to maintain a healthy diet, pandas must consume 26 to 84 pounds of bamboo every day.

     

  • National Park Service South Florida // Wikimedia Commons
    4/ National Park Service South Florida // Wikimedia Commons

    Green sea turtle

    Found in tropical and subtropical waters all over the world, green sea turtles, like others of their kind, remain sensitive throughout their lives to ocean temperatures. The temperature of the sand in which their eggs are laid affect the sex of the turtle hatchlings, and rising ocean temperatures are creating more female sea turtles. That poses a threat to the genetic diversity of the species. Plus, increasing sea levels due to polar ice cap melting makes it more difficult for sea turtles to lay their eggs on beaches. The WWF classifies the green sea turtle as endangered.

     

  • Charles J Sharp // Wikimedia Commons
    5/ Charles J Sharp // Wikimedia Commons

    African elephant

    These Africa-dwelling giants are divided into two subspecies—the savanna elephant, which resides in planes and woodlands, and the smaller forest elephant, which inhabits central and western African equatorial forests. These elephants, classified as vulnerable, are sensitive to the heat, and continued global warming dampens the animal’s ability to reproduce. Confined dispersal due to habitat fragmentation, along with modest genetic diversity, affect the elephant’s ability to adapt to rising temperatures. Perhaps the most important factor in the threat to African elephants is their need for a great deal of fresh water, which directly affects their reproduction and migration.  

     

     

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Headquarters // Wikimedia Commons
    6/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Headquarters // Wikimedia Commons

    Mountain gorilla

    Native to the mountains of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the remaining mountain gorillas are now protected in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park. In the wild, rising temperatures threaten to shift certain types of plants to higher elevations, leaving the critically endangered gorilla with fewer nutrition options. In order to adapt to changing conditions, the gorilla habitats may need to be expanded beyond these parks.

     

  • Dr Zoltan // Pixabay
    7/ Dr Zoltan // Pixabay

    Cheetah

    This speedy big cat makes sub-Saharan Africa its home, but it can also be found in southern Algeria and northern Niger. Rising temperatures apparently have caused the male cheetah's sperm to develop abnormally and has diminished male testosterone levels, impacting the animal’s ability to reproduce. Also, climate change has taken a toll on the gazelle, one of the cheetah’s favorite meals. As such, the feline has to seek out herbivore options that are lower in protein than the gazelle. Because its largest population hovers at around 3,500, National Geographic lists the cheetah as vulnerable.

     

  • Grrl Scientist // Flickr
    8/ Grrl Scientist // Flickr

    Poison dart frog

    Residing mainly in the rainforests of Central America and South America, this critically endangered species of frog, like all frogs, relies on water to sustain itself in tadpole form. As temperatures continue to shoot up due to global warming, sources of water start to diminish in some rainforest areas, which threatens tadpoles’ survival. Human activities that cause habitat fragmentation make it even harder for species such as this to withstand changes in climate. The poison dart frog has only one natural predator, a snake that is immune to the frog’s toxicity.

     

  • Derrick Brutel // Wikimedia Commons
    9/ Derrick Brutel // Wikimedia Commons

    Tiger

    This endangered big cat roams the tropical and woodland forests of eastern Russia, India, Bangladesh, and Nepal, among other Asian countries. Several climate-related factors influence the tiger’s status as endangered: Rising sea levels impinge on coastal habitats for Bengal tigers; changing temperatures encroach on habitats for Siberian tigers, ultimately causing fewer feeding options; wildfires threaten to diminish Siberian tiger dwelling places and food sources; and although human-caused, deforestation contributes to changing climates. That doesn’t bode well for the Sumatran tiger, which is nearing extinction.

     

  • werdepate // Pixabay
    10/ werdepate // Pixabay

    Dolphin

    Found in South American waters as well as the Arctic, dolphins of all types are threatened by climate change. As global warming relentlessly ratchets up ocean temperatures, populations of some dolphin prey have started to decrease. Changing ocean currents also affect distribution of fish on which dolphins feed, as well as channels in which dolphins migrate. Sixteen species of dolphins (and whales) are categorized in danger of extinction, such as the New Zealand Maui dolphin and several types of river dolphin.    

     

  • Mathias Appel // Flickr
    11/ Mathias Appel // Flickr

    Red panda

    These herbivorous creatures are also called the “lesser panda” and “red bear-cat,” and live mainly in the eastern Himalayas. Classified as endangered, red pandas face degradation of their main food source—bamboo. This leads to habitat loss and fragmentation, similar to the effects on the giant panda.

     

  • Alan // Flickr
    12/ Alan // Flickr

    Marine iguana

    Warming oceans cause an array of problems for aquatic and marine animals. In the case of the Galapagos-dwelling marine iguana, rising ocean temperatures have been killing algae, causing many of these lizards to starve. Elevating sea and air temperatures also contribute to making these coastal iguanas a vulnerable species. Warmer weather can interfere with their ability to regulate body temperature, and it can tamper with their beach nesting and egg development.

     

  • Michaelstone428 // Wikimedia Commons
    13/ Michaelstone428 // Wikimedia Commons

    Greater one-horned rhino

    One-horned rhinos live in tropical and subtropical grasslands in the north of the Indian subcontinent. Though miraculously brought back from the brink of extinction a couple of decades ago, the animal is still flagged as vulnerable partly because of the growth of an invasive weed, nicknamed “mile a minute weed,” which wipes out grasses and tree saplings integral to the rhino’s diet. Rising temperatures are also taking a toll. Rhinos need to cool down in large pools of water, which are becoming more and more scarce.

     

  • Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk // Flickr
    14/ Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk // Flickr

    Atlantic cod

    A clue to the location of the habitat of the Atlantic cod is in its name. In North America, they can be found in Atlantic waters from Cape Cod to northern Labrador. These fish need relatively cool waters to thrive, at temperatures between 32 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cod’s size and reproduction habits are directly connected to water temperature. At extremes in either direction, cod tend to eat less and to not grow as large, and in warmer water, they tend to mature more slowly and to reproduce earlier. So it’s no surprise that cod populations have been dropping due to rising ocean temperatures. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature categorizes the Atlantic cod as vulnerable.

     

  • Childzy // Wikimedia Commons
    15/ Childzy // Wikimedia Commons

    Giant Tortoise

    Native to the Galapagos islands, this massive reptile has been forced to migrate due to rising temperatures, which may negatively affect its ability to nest. Drought has also played a role in the tortoise’s classification as vulnerable, at times leaving the animal with little or nothing to eat.

     

  • skeeze // Pixabay
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    Whale shark

    These tropical ocean-dwelling creatures fall into the endangered category partly due to increasing ocean temperatures that cause them to flock to waters around the Azores, west of Portugal. Though they can survive in fairly warm waters, whale sharks still prefer cooler sea temperatures. As water temperatures rise, the future for whale sharks could be bleak.

     

  • Pixel-mixer // Pixabay
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    Asian elephant

    Lurking in the tropical forests and grasslands of southeast Asia, this endangered elephant, like its African counterpart, is sensitive to high temperatures, needs a lot of fresh water to thrive, and has trouble moving to other locations due to smaller and isolated habitats. And, like the one-horned rhino, invasive plants impinge on the elephant's food supply.

     

  • aes256 // Wikimedia Commons
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    Bluefin tuna

    This migratory species of tuna feeds in cold North Atlantic oceans, but heads to tropical waters to reproduce. Since ocean temperatures have been on the rise, this endangered tuna species' mating and reproductive habits have suffered, particularly in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.  

     

  • Charles J Sharp // Wikimedia Commons
    19/ Charles J Sharp // Wikimedia Commons

    African wild dog

    One of the most endangered mammals worldwide, this wild dog roams the southern part of East Africa. Like many land mammals, these dogs don't fare well in excessive heat and don’t have the option of heading to cooler areas at higher altitudes. They need to hunt during the day in order to orchestrate their attacks, and as temperatures continue to rise, their number of sufficiently cooler daytime hours to hunt is diminishing. As a result, fewer wild dog pups are able to survive for long.  

     

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceds South East Region // Flickr
    20/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceds South East Region // Flickr

    Hawksbill turtle

    These critically endangered sea turtles swim in tropical oceans throughout the world and owe their status to rising ocean temperatures. Similar to the case of the green sea turtle, warmer beaches, where turtles lay their eggs, lead to the spawning of more female sea turtles, limiting genetic diversity. Rising sea-surface temperatures and changing ocean currents may also contribute to the endangerment of these turtles, because they use these features as guides when migrating between feeding and mating grounds.

     

  • Judy Gallagher // Wikimedia Commons
    21/ Judy Gallagher // Wikimedia Commons

    Atlantic puffin

    Rising ocean temperatures, a common theme among species threatened by climate change, is largely to blame for this seabird’s status as vulnerable. Because of changing fish populations, the Atlantic puffin is unable to feed properly, and survival rates for puffin chicks have been low. Atlantic puffins inhabit oceans from the eastern Canadian coast to the northeastern U.S. and from the western European coast to northern Russia.  

     

  • Taro Taylor // Wikimedia Commons
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    Humphead wrasse

    These giants of the coral reef fall into the endangered category because of higher levels of carbon dioxide in the air, leading to ocean acidification and degradation of coral reefs. Some scientists predict that about 70% of coral reefs will be impacted by greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, unless humans make significant changes to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.  

     

  • La Butaca Dorada // Flickr
    23/ La Butaca Dorada // Flickr

    Koala

    Intense droughts and bushfires threaten to alter the habitats of this iconic Australian marsupial. Hotter temperatures are, of course, the culprit of these environmental factors, which prove detrimental to koalas, as they have little tolerance for extreme heat and lack of water. This combined with habitat fragmentation, commercial hunting and wild dog attacks make the koala a vulnerable species.

     

  • Aqqa Rosing-Asvid // Wikimedia Commons
    24/ Aqqa Rosing-Asvid // Wikimedia Commons

    Fin whale

    The second-largest mammal after the blue whale, the fin whale swims in the Gulf of California, Arctic Ocean, and the Coral Triangle. Several climatic factors contribute to this baleen whale’s endangered status. Warming ocean temperatures are killing Antarctic krill and herring, important parts of the fin whale’s diet.

     

  • Julien Willem // Wikimedia Commons
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    Dugong

    Relatively close cousins of manatees, dugongs swim in coastal areas of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. They are a vulnerable species due in part to environmental threats to their primary food source, seagrass. The largest threats to seagrass growth are floods and storms, but river runoff has also taken a toll on seagrass populations. It’s no surprise that these marine mammals are also called sea cows, as are manatees.

     

  • Lysogeny // Wikimedia Commons
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    Ice seal

    Comprised of the ringed, ribbon, bearded, and spotted seals, these Arctic mammals obviously rely on a lot of ice to survive. Spiking temperatures and melting ice can separate seal pups from their mothers when they still need to feed, and loss of ice also affects seals’ ability to build proper habitats to shelter pups. Several types of ice seals are protected under the Endangered Species Act.  

     

  • Shenandoah National Park // Flickr
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    Shenandoah salamander

    Although this salamander, classified as vulnerable, can be found only in Shenandoah National Park, it faces climatic threats, such as habitat destruction due to infestation of insects non-native to the park, as well as acid deposits altering the chemical structure of soil containing creatures the salamander eats. Plus, this amphibian prefers to dwell in cooler environments, so rising temperatures may impede upon its ability to thrive.

     

  • Jonathan Kriz // Flickr
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    Amur leopard

    The critically endangered Amur leopard dwells in temperate and broadleaf forests of far eastern Russia. Colder temperatures and thick snowfall prevent this leopard from expanding northward, and fires have diminished forest cover, which plays an important role in this big cat’s habitat. These felines have been known to jump as far as 19 feet horizontally and as high as 10 feet.

     

  • Bernard DUPONT // Flickr
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    Leatherback sea turtle

    The largest species of sea turtle, the leatherback, is highly migratory and swims across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Every summer and fall, Pacific leatherbacks migrate from the Coral Triangle to the coast of California to feast on jellyfish. As is the case with all sea turtles, rising sea levels infringe on egg-laying grounds, and warmer sand temperatures can destroy eggs and lead to an overabundance of female turtle births. Additionally, these turtles, categorized as vulnerable, feed among coral reefs and beds of seagrass, which have suffered from acidification and runoff.  

     

  • USFWS Midwest Region // Flickr
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    Rusty patched bumblebee

    Though the rusty patched bee was once prevalent in upper midwestern and northeastern grasslands and tallgrass prairies, its habitats have been severely narrowed because of conversion to farmlands. High temperatures and extreme rain as well as drought and premature snow-melting hinder the flowering of plants, lessen areas for queens to nest and hibernate, and encroach on time for honey-gathering. These factors contribute to the rusty patched bee’s status as endangered, even on the brink of extinction.

     

  • USFWS Mountain-Prairie // Flickr
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    Black-footed ferret

    This ferret species, native to North American forests, were once thought to be extinct, but conservation efforts have given them a second chance. Some 300 ferrets remain today. The endangered ferret’s main food source, prairie dogs, have been on the decline due to the spread of disease, brought about in part by rising temperatures.

     

  • Lauren Packard // Flickr
    32/ Lauren Packard // Flickr

    North Atlantic right whale

    Roaming the coastal waters of the North Atlantic waters, as its name suggests, the right whale, similar to other baleen whale species, is categorized as endangered due to increasing ocean temperatures. Warmer waters are killing off whale food supplies, like phytoplankton and krill. As whales shift northward to find food, limited protection policies increase their risk of being ensnared by ships or fishing equipment.

     

  • Jo Oh // Wikimedia Commons
    33/ Jo Oh // Wikimedia Commons

    Javan rhino

    The Javan rhino is the most threatened of the five species of rhino. Having once roamed northeastern India and Southeast Asia, what remains of this species lives in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. Several climatic factors threaten these critically endangered Javans, such as tsunamis, rising sea levels, and the potential explosion of the neighboring Anak Krakatau volcano.

     

  • Terry Goss // Wikimedia Commons
    34/ Terry Goss // Wikimedia Commons

    Great white shark

    The largest of the predatory fish, the great white populates waters off the coast of California, southern Chile, coastal East Africa, and the Galapagos. Research indicates that the effects of climate change on sharks leave many questions unanswered, but rising ocean temperatures and acidification have been tampering with fish and marine mammals that sharks eat. The changing conditions also have been impacting shark migration and breeding patterns. Though great whites are highly migratory, they are slow to adapt to changing climates, which partially contributes to their status as vulnerable.

     

  • Linda Tanner // Wikimedia Commons
    35/ Linda Tanner // Wikimedia Commons

    Ivory gull

    This rare Arctic bird can be found among sea ice off the coasts of Greenland and Canada, where it is categorized as vulnerable and endangered, respectively. Continued loss of sea ice is one of the culprits of this gull’s decline. They rely on thick, concentrated ice for successful breeding and feed on finfish and shellfish that live close to the surface of the ice.  

     

  • Karora // Wikimedia Commons
    36/ Karora // Wikimedia Commons

    Sea lion

    Like so many other arctic creatures, from fish to polar bears, sea lions are considered endangered due to the gradual disappearance of sea ice. As melting ice leads to rising sea levels, sea lions are left with fewer places to breed, whether on ice or on beaches. Less land area amid the oceans doesn’t bode well for sea lion pups, as they are more exposed to the elements and risk becoming separated from their mothers. As warming water alters fish habitats, sea lions have to travel farther for food.

     

  • Ludovic Hurlimann // Wikimedia Commons
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    Hawaiian honeycreeper

    Native to Kauai mountain forests, the honeycreeper has been suffering from malaria-ridden mosquitoes, which have become more abundant due to spiking temperatures. These mosquitoes are also impeding the bird’s geographic range, further driving their dive toward extinction. The ‘akikiki is one of the most threatened species of honeycreeper, categorized as critically endangered.   

     

  • Brad Flickinger // Flickr
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    Olive ridley turtle

    The olive ridley, classified as vulnerable, is no different than any other aquatic turtle when it comes to climate change. As sea levels continue to creep up, turtle nesting areas become compromised and warmer sea surface temperatures can impinge on feeding grounds. And, again, the warmer the beaches become, the more female turtles will hatch, throwing sex ratios off kilter.

     

  • Jason Butler // Flickr
    39/ Jason Butler // Flickr

    Honduran brook frog

    Native to rainforests of Honduras, as its name indicates, this tropical frog is critically endangered due to storm interference with clear water streams, and it’s also threatened by water pollution and fires. Warming temperatures also play a part in the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus, responsible for many amphibian deaths.

     

  • Allen Shimada // Wikimedia Commons
    40/ Allen Shimada // Wikimedia Commons

    Bigeye tuna

    Found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans, the bigeye tuna population has begun to decline because of a reduction in phytoplankton due to warming ocean temperatures. Considering that phytoplankton plays a crucial role in oxygen production, it is no wonder this vulnerable tuna species has been suffering.

     

  • Nevit Dilman // Wikimedia Commons
    41/ Nevit Dilman // Wikimedia Commons

    Hippopotamus

    Lingering along the rivers and lakes of sub-Saharan Africa, hippos have become a vulnerable species due to rising temperatures drying up bodies of water, which cool and hydrate the animals. And as fresh water supplies diminish, so does some of the vegetation that hippos consume.

     

  • Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith
    42/ Gregory "Slobirdr" Smith

    Southern rockhopper penguin

    Named for their tendency to hop from rock to rock in the sub-Antarctic islands of Africa, South America, Australia, and New Zealand, rockhoppers are threatened by warming sea-surface temperatures, which degrade their prey populations. These vulnerable seabirds have decreased by over 90% since the 1940s.

     

  • Christin Khan // Wikimedia Commons
    43/ Christin Khan // Wikimedia Commons

    Sei whale

    The sei whale is native to all non-tropical and non-polar oceans and seas. Like many other marine animals, warming of ocean water is partly to blame for the sei’s categorization as endangered; they tend to feed in cooler waters, so their feeding patterns may be at risk as ocean temperatures gradually rise. Ocean acidification also comes into play, as that impacts the development of some of the whale’s food sources, such as small shellfish. Another dimension to acidification may be increased toxicity of poisonous algae blooms eaten by similar filter-feeding creatures on which these whales prey.

     

  • wagon16 // Flickr
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    Williams bright-eyed frog

    Classified as critically endangered, this frog lives at high altitudes in limited areas of Madagascar. Mountain-dwelling frogs such as these lay their eggs among moist dead leaf material present in cloud forests. But as temperatures start to rise at higher altitudes, clouds are edging farther upward, leaving dried leaf decay and thus fewer suitable egg-laying places. These frogs can migrate only so far up a mountain before they become stranded.

     

  • photoliver // Pixabay
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    Sri Lankan elephant

    The largest of the Asian elephant subspecies, Sri Lankans were once abundant in tropical and subtropical forests of the island southeast of India, but have been squeezed into smaller areas due to forest conversion and agricultural needs. Warming temperatures make water sources scarce in dry seasons, which elephants need to function properly. These environmental factors, plus killing by humans including farmers, contribute to the animal’s status as endangered.

     

  • Yohkawa // Wikimedia Commons
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    Yangtze finless porpoise

    This critically endangered porpoise has had to endure dips in flood retention capacity and inadequate water supply in its native Yangtze River Basin in China. Scientists predict that the melting of glaciers in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, the source of the Yangtze River, will ultimately cause water sources to dwindle.

     

  • Julielangford // Wikimedia Commons
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    Orangutan

    Orangutans are native to rainforests of Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra. A couple of climatic factors play a role in the orangutan’s status as critically endangered. Changing temperatures and rainfall patterns alter where these animals can find tree fruits and leaves vital to their diets. Plus, food scarcity leads to lower reproduction rates. Dryer weather has caused more fires in Borneo, which has led to fragmentation of their habitat.

     

  • Patrick Kinyatta Melonza // Wikimedia Commons
    48/ Patrick Kinyatta Melonza // Wikimedia Commons

    Taita Hills warty frog

    This bulbous-bodied, critically endangered frog is native to forest patches in Kenya. Like the Williams bright-eyed species, these warty frogs are threatened by rising temperatures that dry up leaf litter and bodies of water, leaving fewer places for frogs to lay eggs and survive as tadpoles.

     

  • Derek Keats // Flickr
    49/ Derek Keats // Flickr

    Galapagos penguin

    This penguin is affected by several climatic factors: El Niño events lead to influx of warm water, rising sea levels destroy its coastal nesting habitats, and ocean acidification harms creatures at all levels of the food chain, ultimately affecting penguins. All of these environmental alterations contribute to this penguin’s classification as an endangered species.  

     

     

  • Public Domain
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    Blue whale

    The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale populates oceans of southern Chile, the Gulf of California, and the Coral Triangle. The case of this marine giant is no different than that of many other sea creatures: Warming temperatures and the melting of Antarctic ice are diminishing krill populations, the blue whale’s main food source. The disappearance of ice leads to fewer ocean algae in warmer seasons and therefore less food for krill. These endangered whales are not only the largest, but also the loudest animal in the world; their calls can ramp up to 188 decibels.  

  • 12019 // Pixabay
    51/ 12019 // Pixabay

    Loggerhead turtle

    Loggerheads can be found on beaches and oceans in Coastal East Africa, the Gulf of California, the Mesoamerican Reef, and the Coral Triangle. Changing climate impacts these vulnerable loggerheads similarly to other sea turtle breeds: Rising ocean levels and extreme weather can curtail and inundate sea turtle nesting grounds. Warmer temperatures are leading to more frequent female sea turtle births and generally impede on hatching rates. Finally, warmer waters alter ocean currents, on which sea turtles rely when they migrate.

     

  • Alan D. Wilson // Wikimedia Commons
    52/ Alan D. Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

    Polar bear

    These ivory giants spend most of their time on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. Increasing temperatures are melting sea ice, a vital part of the polar bear’s habitat and ability to survive. These bears carry out virtually all of their activities on ice, such as hunting, reproducing, and getting from one place to another. Plus, their diet consists mainly of ringed and bearded seals, who also rely on ice to thrive. Also, ice-melting opens new possibilities for oil and gas exploration—a further threat to polar bears.

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