Species on the move

phys.org | 5/17/2018 | Staff
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A total of 55 animal species in the UK have been displaced from their natural ranges or enabled to arrive for the first time on UK shores because of climate change over the last 10 years (2008-2018) - as revealed in a new study published today (18 July 2019) by scientists at international conservation charity ZSL (Zoological Society of London).

Making use of a previously overlooked source of data, the team turned to social media to search for rare species sightings. The researchers conducted searches both on Twitter and Google, attributing 10 out the 55 species identified to people posting images online of the animals in unusual places.

Study - Dr - Nathalie - Pettorelli - ZSL

The study led by Dr. Nathalie Pettorelli of ZSL's Institute of Zoology, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, explains that, due to regular sightings from environmentalists, UK wildlife is one of the most intensively monitored in the world, but there is very little centralised tracking of species arriving for the first time in the country or moving to places outside of their known UK range, due to climate change.

The analysis also considered UK Government environment reports as well as 111 scientific papers, leading to a total of 55 species (out of 39,029 species in the UK) being identified. The research focused solely on species which had established sustainable populations through natural, rather than human-assisted movement.

Evidence - Group - Animals - Resilience - Pressures

Little evidence for any one group of animals showing resilience to the pressures of climate change were seen, with invertebrates, mammals and birds all seemingly impacted by rising temperatures. Of the 55 species identified, 64% were invertebrates, and only one formally classified as an invasive species—the leathery sea squirt (Styela clava).

Species such as the black bee fly (Anthrax anthrax) arrived in the UK for the first time in 2016 and was reportedly...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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