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Field Notes

Covering the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest

February 5, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Wildlife and climate change: it’s not just wolverines

I wrote in the Seattle Times last week that wolverines are making a comeback in Washington. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also last week proposed listing wolverine as a threatened species. Why? Because climate change is expected to melt wolverines out of their deep snowy denning habitat within the next century.

Wolverines_skiers.jpg

Researchers head in to the upper Icicle drainage to change the bait and check a remote camera they hope will document the wolverines that have taken up residence as far south as these wild lands south of State Route 2, west of Leavenworth.

Photo by Mike Siegel, Seattle Times Staff photographer.

But it’s not only wolverines that are in trouble, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation.

From sand hill cranes to sea turtles, animals face a changing world on a warming planet as their homes are transformed by climate change. The report examined climate change projections in eight regions of the U.S., from the arctic to the Atlantic coast.

Among other findings, the study looked at 305 species of birds in North America and discovered that more than half have expanded their range northward by an average of 35 miles in the past 40 years.

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