Mountain lizards will decline



Barry Sinervo : Biologist
Speaking of extinction, a group of ecologists led by Barry Sinervo of the University of California, Santa Cruz, wanted to understand how climate change would affect lizards. They carried out a local study on lizards in Mexico and found 12 percent of the species went extinct between 1975 and 2009. They uncovered a pattern in the extinctions. As the cooler mountaintops warmed, mountain lizards went extinct, and lowland lizards expanded up the mountains, where it was now warm enough for them to live.
They repeated the study at sites around the world, seeing the same disappearance of cold-adapted lizards from mountaintops with replacement by lowland lizards, the overall result between 1975 and 2009 being 4 percent of the lizard populations at their sites going extinct. By projecting the temperature trends at their global sites and using data on the breeding temperatures and the global distribution of lizards, they predicted that 30 percent of their lizard populations would go extinct by 2080.


Life & Earth Science, "10 Predictions for Evolution Over the Next Million Years", [online], Available: http://science.discovery.com/life-earth-science/10-predictions-for-evolution.htm


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