Animals and Global Warming

©Peter Delaney
Wildlife, big or small are having to make adaptions to climate change.

South Africa is blessed with an abundance of wildlife from various ecosystems. As the environment around the animals change, due to due global warming, species need to adapt to survive. This leads to occurrences such as migration, increased mortality rates and ultimately, extinction. 

As the endangered geometric tortoise becomes more and more endangered, the curlew sandpiper migration process changes to adjust to increased temperatures. Globally, climate change has changed the patterns of natural development of various species - from the shrinking habitat of the polar bear to the temperature influence on the sex of reptile eggs, these changes will become more pronounced in years to come.

By Leonie Joubert

Animal Behaviour in Global Warming

Insects have been referred to as the 'sleeping giants' of climate change because of their ability to move and adapt so quickly to changing conditions. As for the other creatures that cannot move or adapt...more

Bird Migration and Climate Change

You would have to be made of strong stuff to tackle a trip like this: Birds have mastered the art of long-haul travel. Since their ancestors first jury-rigged reptilian scales into lightweight instruments of flight...more

Birds and Climate Change

The Avian Demography Unit (ADU) at the University of Cape Town has been counting the birds of Langebaan Lagoon for 30 years. When it projects its figures onto a graph...more

Climate Change and Marion Island Penguins

The penguins of Marion Island face an uncertain future. The ocean currents around Marion ebb and flow to their own unfathomable rhythm. South of this area, around the Antarctic continent...more

Climate Change Impact on Frogs

The problem with global warming is that when change comes, it will probably be too fast for species to adapt at a genetic level. Many high altitude frogs and toads could be at the ceiling...more

Elephants and Climate Change

Where do elephants fit into climate change? A good question - and it's one that the next generation of computer modelling is expected to answer. Where the Country Studies Report...more

Temperature Effects on Reptile Breeding

Different factors come into play in the gradients or differences of temperature in reptile eggs and the resultant sex of those eggs. If more females hatched in a warmer climate...more

The Endangered Geometric Tortoise

On a private conservancy outside of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr Brian Henen studied the last few remaining generations of the endangered geometric tortoise. For enigmatic reasons of its own...more