Wildlife Migration

WILDLIFE

A 2020 study warned that one third of all plant and animal species could be extinct in 50 years (2). All plant and animal species, though, will shift how and where they thrive as they attempt adaptation to a changed climate. Species tend to flee in search of cooler climates, but if the temperature shifts more quickly than they can relocate, extinction will occur. Insects carrying diseases, many of which cannot survive in cold climates, have pushed northward and infected people and plants that have little immunity. Viability of crop and livestock are changing drastically as well, and as natural resources like fish migrate in response to warmer waters, tensions have emerged between countries vying for control of a changed industry.

CURRENT NEWS

For the first time in centuries, a gray whale is spotted in New England

By Andrew Jeong 03/07/24
Paul Dudley, an official in colonial Massachusetts, wrote in 1725 about a “scrag whale” that could be seen off New England’s coast. The account is one of the last known documentations of the gray whale…
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Herd of puppets to trek 20,000km to highlight urgency of climate crisis

By Lanre Bakare 02/22/24
The production team behind the Little Amal puppet, which raised awareness about the plight of the refugee crisis in Europe, hope their next project – a herd of animal puppets going on a 20,000km trek…
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The New PBS Nature Special Highlights Epic Shorebird Migrations

By Felice Stadler 02/05/24
Every spring and fall, millions of people pause to watch beloved species of birds arrive and depart during their seasonal migrations. For millions of Americans, American Robins mark the arrival of spring, Common Loons in…
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Hermit Crabs Are Using Trash as Shells Across the World, Scientists Find

By Christian Thorsberg 02/01/24
Pictures and videos of hermit crabs creating new homes from human litter—co-opting anything from Lego pieces to soda cans to laundry detergent caps—have circulated the internet for well over a decade.
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Bird populations are declining.

By Harry Stevens 01/17/24
I’m on a Zoom call with a team of researchers from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, their gridded video feeds a sort of Hollywood Squares of bird nerds, and we’re discussing the decline and fall…
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Wildfire Smoke Is Likely Poisoning Killer Whales, Study Finds

By Todd Woody 01/08/24
As climate-driven wildfires spiral out of control, scientists have shown for the first time that toxic smoke is likely poisoning killer whales off North America’s west coast.
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Why reindeer eyes shine blue in the winter

By Allyson Chiu 12/18/23
Rudolph’s red nose may have gone down in history, but research says it was probably his shining blue eyes — a common trait among reindeer — that helped keep him and the rest of Santa’s…
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Native waterfall-climbing fish threatened by climate change, human activity

By University of Hawaii at Manoa 10/30/23
New research out of the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa is highlighting the importance of the ma uka (mountain) to ma kai (ocean) approach to the stewardship of Hawai'i's natural and cultural resources.
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Climate Change Is Pushing Salmon North in Alaska, Scientists Say

By Will Sullivan 10/26/23
Chum salmon, the second-largest Pacific salmon species, can be found throughout the northern coastal regions of North America and Asia. But now, as the climate warms, the fish are laying eggs even farther north—in Alaska…
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Arizona’s extreme heat threatens ‘spectacular migrations’ of butterflies

By Kevinjonah Paguio 10/15/23
This time of year, butterflies are in backyards and parks, but it may look different this season. This year’s extreme heat is expected to affect all parts of the ecosystem, including butterflies and their migration.
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How climate change and population growth are helping armadillos move into more areas of NC

By Gareth McGrath 10/12/23
But is the arrival of the nine-banded armadillo in North Carolina, now going on nearly 15 years since they were first reported, necessarily a bad thing?
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Assisted Migration Helps Animals Adapt to Climate Change

By Joanna Thompson 10/12/23
Last year, more than 100 million people were forced to flee their homes following climate-related disasters. Extreme heat and weather are shifting the areas fit for habitation—and not just for humans. Climate change is turning…
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KEY RESOURCES

Bird Migration Explorer

09/27/22
The Bird Migration Explorer is your guide to the heroic annual journeys made by over 450 bird species, and the challenges they face along the way.

Stories from the Sea: Fishermen Confront Climate Change

02/02/22
Fishermen in the North Pacific intimately understand the ocean, and they've noticed that once-reliable stalwarts like seasonal patterns and fish migration routes are changing alongside a warming climate. The Nature Conservancy in Alaska gathered their…

Wildlife Corridors

07/15/21
Wildlife corridors are increasingly vital in ensuring healthy wildlife populations and providing critical ecosystem services.

Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps and Graphics (2017)

02/17/20
For thousands of years, tracking animals meant following footprints. Now satellites, drones, camera traps, cellphone networks, and accelerometers reveal the natural world as never before. Where the Animals Go is the first book to offer…

Migrations in Motion

02/07/20
Maps shows the average direction mammals, birds, and amphibians need to move to track hospitable climates as they shift across the landscape.

MORE NEWS

Amphibians are the world’s most vulnerable animals and threats are increasing

By Christina Larson   10/07/23  
The world’s frogs, salamanders, newts and other amphibians remain in serious trouble. A new global assessment has found that 41% of amphibian species that scientists have studied are threatened with extinction, meaning they are either…
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Non-Native Plants Increasingly Move North Due to Climate Change, Study Finds

By Cristen Hemingway Jaynes   10/06/23  
Many plant and animal species that originate from warmer regions are able to acclimate to more northern climates as temperatures increase due to climate change.
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Here’s how extreme weather is affecting animal migration

By Rebecca Geldard   10/05/23  
Many species of animals migrate as different seasons come and go, often undertaking long and arduous journeys to other parts of the planet that will offer them a more suitable environment.
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How Climate Change is Changing Animal Habits

By Sarah Hubbart   10/04/23  
Climate change is impacting wildlife across the United States in a variety of ways. Some animal species are able to adapt to changing environmental conditions quickly, but others are not.
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The Vanishing Act: Climate Change’s Impact on Animal Migration Patterns

By Dr. Prashant   09/23/23  
Animal migration is a spectacular natural phenomenon that has captivated scientists and nature enthusiasts for centuries. It’s a finely tuned dance of millions of animals, from birds to mammals to insects, as they journey across…
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Animals are migrating to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

By Sarah Zhang   04/17/23  
The oceanic soup of plastic fragments is becoming a new kind of ecosystem....
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Whale of a Tale: Local Anti-Wind Crowd Spins Yarns

By Frank Carini   04/06/23  
As Earth spins into a deepening climate crisis, how we continue to power society will determine our fate. So far, our actions have been guided by greed, selfishness, and lies. Bad actors and special interests…
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The Plants Seeking Refuge Across Our Dynamically Changing Planet

03/06/23  
Plants, like animals and people, seek refuge from climate change. And when they move, they take entire ecosystems with them. To understand why and how plants have trekked across landscapes throughout time, researchers at the…
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When wild dolphins help humans fish, both benefit

By Alissa Greenberg   02/04/23  
Along the coast of Santa Catarina in southern Brazil, fishing is a way of life. But not just any kind of fishing. For the last 150 years, the fishers of the city of Laguna have…
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Monarch Butterflies Suffered One Blow From Glyphosate, Then Another From Climate Change

By Jeff McMahon   12/27/22  
Scientists have three main theories for the persistent decline in the numbers of monarch butterflies:
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Recently Passed Federal Funding Package Makes Investments in Natural Climate Solutions

By National Audubon Society   12/23/22  
The Fiscal Year 2023 appropriations bill includes important wins for climate and conservation, though fails to include important legislation that would greatly benefit wildlife.
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How Arizona’s Border Wall Could Stop Animals Escaping From Climate Change

By Ciara Nugent   12/15/22  
As Arizona governor Doug Ducey’s term draws to a close, he’s rushing to cement his legacy: a bunch of battered, rusty shipping containers. Since Oct. 24, crews have double-stacked 900 of the metal boxes at…
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How climate change is driving monkeys and lemurs from trees to the ground

By Scott Dance   10/10/22  
The stresses of warming temperatures and forest losses are driving dozens of species of monkeys and lemurs that normally shelter and feed high in the tree canopy to spend more time foraging on the forest…
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Four Birds from Golden Gate and Yosemite Star in New Study of Migratory Species’ Responses to Climate Change

By Jessica Weinberg McClosky   09/09/22  
Scientists have abundant data on bird population trends and on climate change impacts to habitats around the world. For birds that stay in one place year round, linking the two to study bird population responses…
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Crocodile vs. Climate

By Dan Chapman   08/30/22  
If Florida is the poster child for climate change run amok then the Keys – the fragile, low-lying string of tropical islands that curves out into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico...
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How urban sprawl and climate change affect animal migration

08/26/22  
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver…
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Protecting endangered species by relocating them?

By Jeniffer Solis   08/19/22  
Wildlife officials are proposing an ambitious policy to protect plants and animals from climate change: by moving threatened species to greener pastures. In June, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed a change to the…
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Lazy Bears and Confused Birds: What a Warming Planet Means for Wildlife

By David J. Craig   06/21/22  
The Alaskan tundra, a vast, windswept, and treeless region at the edge of the Arctic Circle, is a place of stunning natural beauty. In winter, the area is blanketed by darkness, and polar bears, wolves,…
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‘Wholly Unexpected’: These Polar Bears Can Survive With Less Sea Ice

By Henry Fountain   06/16/22  
The discovery suggests a way that a small number of bears might survive as warming continues and more of the sea ice that they normally depend on disappears. But the researchers and other polar experts…
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The Tick That Causes a Meat Allergy Is on the Move

By Livia Albeck-Ripka   05/13/22  
Ms. Fleshman, a nurse at the time, had earlier that evening hosted a cookout at her home in Greenwood, Del., a town of about 1,000 people 25 miles south of Dover. She drank a couple…
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Ungulate Migration In A Changing Climate

By Katherine C. Malpeli   04/28/22  
Migratory behavior among ungulates in the Western United States occurs in response to changing forage quality and quantity, weather patterns, and predation risk. As snow melts and vegetation green-up begins in late spring and early…
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Birds Are Laying Eggs Earlier Likely Due to Climate Change

By Mary Jo DiLonardo   04/01/22  
It’s an annual harbinger of spring: Birds singing, building nests, and laying eggs. But the timetable has been gradually changing. A new study finds that many bird species are building their nests and laying eggs…
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A Big Climate Warning from One of the Gulf of Maine’s Smallest Marine Creatures

By Derrick Z. Jackson   02/20/22  
Given the rate at which the waters in the Gulf of Maine are heating up, Mainers may need to swap out the lobsters on their license plates for squid. All of New England could issue…
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An ‘emerging crisis’: The climate is changing too fast for plants and animals to adapt

By Diana Kruzman   02/18/22  
New UN report highlights how warming temperatures are upending nature's life cycles — with devastating impacts on agriculture and biodiversity.
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Polar bear inbreeding and bird ‘divorces’: Weird ways climate change is affecting animal species

By Julia Jacobo   02/12/22  
The world's biodiversity is constantly being threatened by warming temperatures and extreme changes in climate and weather patterns. And while that "doom and gloom" is the typical discourse surrounding how climate change is affecting biodiversity,…
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How birds are adapting to climate crisis

By Katie Hunt   02/11/22  
Thousands of birds die each spring and fall when they collide with Chicago's skyscrapers, which lie on a major migration path between Canada and Latin America. But the birds don't die in vain. Since the…
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Are ills of the Arctic hitting California? Hundreds of migratory seabirds wash ashore

By Susanne Rust   01/24/22  
Sara Bogard halted her dog as the two began descending the cliff down to Manchester Beach, along the Mendocino coast. Below, scores of dead and dying birds littered the beach as far as she could…
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Climate change behind unprecedented increase in butterfly species appearing in South Texas, experts say

By Sandra Sanchez   01/05/22  
The National Butterfly Center, with its serene grounds along the Rio Grande in South Texas, is always a big draw for tourists and locals living on the border. Now, a four-fold increase in butterfly species…
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Bird Migration & the Changing Climate

By Madison Mitchell   01/05/22  
It’s no news that climate change is impacting our natural environment, but what does this mean for birds, migration patterns, and lasting biodiversity? As winter tends to get warmer, why are birds still migrating? What…
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Caribou migrations in a changing Arctic

By Joly, K. and others   01/05/22  
Caribou are highly adapted to extreme environmental variability, which has allowed them to endure dramatic, historic changes, including multiple ice ages. However, current climate change is happening 2-3 times faster in the Arctic than anywhere…
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Climate change forces polar bears to migrate to Russia from Alaska

By Trends Desk   01/04/22  
One of the many signs of global warming is the change in animal population and habitation. Something similar is being witnessed with the polar bear population of Alaska that is rapidly dwindling.
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Stronger storms, hotter winters, crawfish migration: $5.4M funds LSU study on links to climate change

By Caroline Savoie   01/02/22  
Stronger hurricanes, warmer winters and unusual crawfish behavior that's driving the crustacean’s mass emigration from Louisiana’s coast.
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How to brew a greener beer

ByJess Craig   10/15/21  
From start to finish, making alcoholic beverages asks a lot from the environment. It takes about 20 gallons of water to produce a single eight-ounce serving of beer and 30 gallons per five-ounce serving of…
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The Critically Endangered Saiga Continues to Face Fluctuating Populations

By Katherine Gallagher   09/15/21  
Known for its distinct nose and ribbed horns, the once abundant saiga can trace its history back to the time of woolly mammoths across what eventually became southeastern Europe and Central Asia. Currently considered critically…
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New Policies Promise a Two-Pronged Win for Wildlife in Nevada

By Matt Skroch and Nic Callero   08/24/21  
The state of Nevada and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently took independent though complementary steps to protect the state’s migrating wildlife and sagebrush ecosystem—actions that represent a major leap forward for wildlife…
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Hundreds Of Sharks Swarm Florida Canal To Escape Red Tide

By Josephine Harvey   08/03/21  
Hundreds of coastal sharks have flocked to a Florida canal in what experts said is an effort to take refuge from a catastrophic algal bloom that has wreaked havoc on ocean life in the region.
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Get Way Up Close and Personal With Beluga Whales

Mary Jo DiLonardo   07/20/21  
People aren't the only ones traveling this summer. In July and August, more than 57,000 beluga whales will migrate from the Arctic to the warmer waters of the Churchill River in Manitoba, Canada.1
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Like in ‘Postapocalyptic Movies’: Heat Wave Killed Marine Wildlife en Masse

By Catrin Einhorn   07/12/21  
An early estimate points to a huge die-off along the Pacific Coast, and scientists say rivers farther inland are warming to levels that could be lethal for some kinds of salmon.
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Bizarre Marine Life Movement Might be Indicating Future Mass Extinction

By Charles Stephen   04/26/21  
Science has long acknowledged the wonder of Earth’s tropical waters. Perhaps this is because it offers the richest marine life diversity anywhere on our planet. These range from the fantastic coral reefs to the running…
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Global warming is causing a more pronounced dip in marine species richness around the equator

By Chhaya Chaudhary , Anthony J. Richardson , David S. Schoeman and Mark J. Costello   04/13/21  
The latitudinal gradient in species richness, with more species in the tropics and richness declining with latitude, is widely known and has been assumed to be stable over recent centuries. We analyzed data on 48,661…
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Marine life is fleeing the equator to cooler waters. History tells us this could trigger a mass extinction event

By Anthony Richardson , Chhaya Chaudhary , David Schoeman , Mark John Costello   04/08/21  
The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The…
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Freshwater fish are in “catastrophic” decline with one-third facing extinction, report finds

By Sophie Lewis   02/23/21  
Thousands of fish species are facing "catastrophic" decline — threatening the health, food security and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people around the world. New research shows that one-third of all freshwater fish now…
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Insects are vanishing at an alarming rate—but we can save them

By Christine Peterson   01/17/21  
Insects aren’t just pests. They’re crucial for the planet and our food supply, and scientists say we can all pitch in to help.
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Trump Opens Habitat of a Threatened Owl to Timber Harvesting

By Lisa Friedman and Catrin Einhorn   01/13/21  
The Trump administration on Wednesday removed more than 3 million acres of Pacific Northwest land from the protected habitat of the northern spotted owl, 15 times the amount it had previously proposed opening to the…
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Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists

By Damien Carrington   01/11/21  
The insects face multiple, overlapping threats including the destruction of wild habitats for farming, urbanisation, pesticides and light pollution. Population collapses have been recorded in places where human activities dominate, such as in Germany, but there is…
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Nearly 600 manatees died in Florida waters in 2020

By Karl Schneider   01/04/21  
Newly written draft language for proposed boater safety legislation may help protect threatened manatees from being killed by boat strikes. Last year, 593 manatees were found dead in Florida. Of those, an estimated 90 died…
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Mysterious Dolphin Deaths Linked To Climate Change In New Study

By Sara Tabin   01/02/21  
In 2007, scientists studying dolphins in the Gippsland Lakes of South Eastern Australia noticed something alarming. Dead dolphins were washing up on shore, covered in skin lesions. Some of them looked like they had received…
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5 Environmental Stories That Could Dominate In 2021

By Laura Paddison   12/30/20  
As the climate crisis worsens, the coronavirus pandemic rages, and Joe Biden prepares to take office, a look at big environmental stories that could define the next year.
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Arctic Animals’ Movement Patterns are Shifting in Different Ways as the Climate Changes

By Sofie Bates   11/30/20  
For animals in the Arctic, life is a balancing act. Seasonal cues, such as warmer spring temperatures or cooler temperatures in the fall, tell animals when to migrate, when to mate, and when and where…
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At Sea and in Court, the Fight to Save Right Whales Intensifies

By Rene Ebersole   11/17/20  
Artie Raslich has been volunteering for seven years with the conservation group Gotham Whale, working on the American Princess, a whale-watching boat based in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. In that time Raslich, a professional photographer, has…
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