There are many Effects of Environment Change on Animals
Animals are in generally adaptable creatures and with the environment constantly changing, the need to quickly adapt is becoming important for the continuation of the species. Effects of environment change on animals is becoming bleak in some areas as the environment is becoming more volatile.
The polar bears are a species that seem to be exceedingly threatened by the changing environment. They rely very heavily on the ice found in the Arctic Ocean. This ice is rapidly disappearing due to the warming of the sea waters. Polar bears living in the Hudson Bay area are starving during the summer months because their hunting relies on the ice that melts earlier and earlier every year.
The American pika which is a small mammal who can be found living on the Western mountaintops has to move to higher altitudes. This is so they can find tolerable alpine temperatures for its home. With the change in the environment, the pika will soon have no where to go that suits their habitat needs.
Waterfowl such as geese and ducks around the world have to change their migration patterns and general behavior due to the effects of environment change. Due to droughts and floods across the globe their food supply has been greatly altered.
While the polar bear, pika and waterfowl are just three examples of animals having to change their behavior and adapt to the many effects of environment change there are hundreds of other species also suffering.
For a species to have a healthy habitat, the following is needed:
- Species appropriate temperatures
Melting ice in the arctic is removing hunting grounds from the polar bears and warmer water temperatures are causing population declines in trout, salmon and numerous other aquatic species. The rising temperatures have caused massive coral bleaching that is leading to the collapse of the ecosystems that sustain large numbers of fish caused by the effects of environment change.
- Bountiful food sources
- Environmental shifts have altered food availability. Winters that are much milder cause seasonal food caches to spoil so food stores used to survive the winter are unable to be used and the animals starve.
- Plenty of fresh water
Massive floods will increase erosion levels thus reducing water quality and disintegrating the aquatic habitat. On the flip side, severe droughts will stress and even kill plants that wildlife depends on for food and shelter. Water sources also dry up forcing wildlife to move from their habitat to stay alive.
- Safe places to raise their young have changed due to effects of environment change.
The United States wetlands are drying up due to excessive droughts. This eliminates the essential breeding habitat for migratory species. The rising sea levels and changes in salinity have the potential to destroy habitats that are used to breed and rear offspring.
As the environment changes due to excessive pollution and global warming, animals have to seek alternatives to their natural habitats and hunting grounds. There are so many species who have already become extinct and many more who are teetering on the edge due to the effects of environment change. Their endangered status has made humans more aware of the problems animals are facing.
While there are conservationists who are diligently working towards protecting wildlife and saving their habitat, there are many more people who are ignorant of the plight of these animals. Environmentalists are studying the shifts that are occurring and are developing calls to action to help slow or stop the effects of environment change that are taking place due to human interaction.
Although the damage to the environment can never be undone, there are steps that can be put in place to slow down the rapidly disintegrating world wide environment. Protecting wildlife and their habitats should be a top priority for everyone to help lessen the effects of environment change.