Did you know that two incredible birds, puffins and turtle doves, are seriously at risk of extinction, so much so that they are now as endangered as the African lion and elephant? The Atlantic puffin and the European turtle dove (yes, the beloved bird from the Christmas carol), are facing extinction largely due to climate change.
The puffin is particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, such as shifts in ocean temperatures and extreme weather, both of which also affect their various types of prey like small fish, sprats, and sand eels. The struggle to find food and nesting sites has also seriously affected the European turtle dove and so has illegal hunting of this particular type of bird.
The conservation director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the UK charity that works to create a healthy environment for birds, says "The number of species facing extinction has always been highest in the tropics...but now the crisis is beginning to exact an increasingly heavy toll on temperate regions too, such as Europe."
It is heartbreaking to read about yet more animals and species facing extinction. The realization that climate change is largely to blame, which places responsibility squarely on the shoulders of us as human beings, is devastating. We must work together as inhabitants of this planet to make the environmental changes that are so very crucial.
As always, reduce, reuse, recycle, and conserve. Small, everyday changes make a big difference.