Endangered Species of Florida in the Face of Climate Change


The world we are living is changing, getting warmer fast, and for the most part wetter. The seas are rising too. This led to the concept of ‘climate velocity’, i.e. how fast an organism would need to move to keep up with their current climate on any place on Earth. And Florida is not in a good shape, as its flat topography does not come to the rescue. Climate projections notably indicate temperatures 3 to 4 °F warmer. Based on this, I present work of the lab on 4 Threatened & Endangered Species of Florida, and their expected fate if they were to track climate change. From the ‘lucky’ American crocodile, to the doomed Cape Sable seaside sparrow, different species are told very different fortunes. In parallel, a study investigated mammal’s ability to track climate change through dispersal in the Western hemisphere. Florida ranked among the places with the worst impact of climate change, with almost 40 % of mammal species not able to track climate change, and having to withstand urban development on top of it. This led me to conclude on global human impact, including urbanization, which is growing fast in Florida. With the doubling of population expected by mid-21st century, urban areas are expected to grow as fast in Florida, especially in Central and Northern Florida. I show briefly how current urbanization already affects suitable habitat for animal species, illustrating the great challenges ahead of conservation of wildlife in Florida in the 21st century.

NatureScape Habitat Steward Training
Davie, FL

Reference: Basille M. (2019) Endangered Species of Florida in the Face of Climate Change. NatureScape Habitat Steward Training. Davie, FL (USA).

Endangered Species of Florida in the Face of Climate Change.