Sunday, 11 May 2008

Climate change affecting UK's coastal wildlife

Below is a summary of the key notes taken from an article by Jessica Aldred published in the Guardian on the 14th April 2008. The full article can be found at this address;

Figure 1 taken from-

· A diverse range of wildlife along Britain's coastline will be affected by flooding and coastal erosion in the next 100 years, conservationists warned today
· Research from the National Trust forecasts "dramatic changes" that will put at risk native wildlife along Britain's 9,040 miles of coastline and herald the arrival of new foreign species.
· Basking sharks, the little egret and Glanville fritillary butterfly are all set to thrive as the climate gets warmer in Britain, while two species of tern, the grey seal and the Sandhill rustic moth are all at risk of habitat loss,
· "Our research has shown that our coastline is seeing a huge amount of change. This is having, and will have, a major impact on the wildlife and habitats that stretch all the way around our coast”- Adrian Woodhall
· Basking sharks, which are found along the west coast of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, are among the species that the trust predicts will flourish in a warmer climate. It says the sharks are increasingly being found along the east coast of England, in areas where the blooms of plankton it feeds on have moved to because of warmer, cleaner seas. Last year, for the first time, trust wardens reported seeing two basking sharks off the Coast of Farne Island in Northumberland.
· Internationally important breeding colonies of terns that nest close to the sea edge are at risk from rising sea levels and increasing stormy weather, as sea levels rise due to climate change, the isolated shingle beaches that grey seals favor to give birth to their pups in the autumn will become narrower. Grey seals must breed above the high-tide mark and with less space above the tide line the pups are at risk of being washed away, according to the research.
· Dr David Bullock, the head of nature conservation at the National Trust, "In the future the focus of nature conservation will have to be on making space for nature to move around the wider landscape and not just within the current protected areas," Britain has 9,040 miles of coast, 2,500 of which are in England.
· The long-awaited draft marine bill, the government announced plans for a network of new marine nature reserves that will protect endangered species and habitats along Britain's coastline. marine conservation zones will have clear goals to ensure that some types of fishing, dredging or other forms of development do not damage protect habitats and species of national importance.
· The government has said it wants to see the zones in place by 2012, with varying levels of protection for individual sites. Measures to give people the freedom to walk along the English coast for the first time were also included.

other interesting sites concerning the effect of climate change on wild life are as follows this includes some very interesting information about Alien marine invaders

No comments: