Rising sea levels putting wildlife at risk

This article discusses how rising seas pose threats to wildlife habitat, causing many species to lose important habitat for critical life functions such as nesting.

Just as rising seas pose serious threats to coastal residents and human-built systems and structures, and cause human climate refugees to flee low-lying atolls, these seas are also threatening many diverse species of wildlife.

Coastal species are particularly affected, and some are losing habitat as rising water covers the beaches they rely on for important life functions, like nesting. Another chief concern is the intrusion of salty sea water into freshwater habitats and the impacts that has on some species.

A recent University of California-Davis study predicts up to 90 percent of coastal freshwater turtle species will be at risk from sea-level rise. The study was published in Biological Reviews in March. If sea levels rise three feet by 2100 – a frequently cited estimate well within the range of NASA’s projections – salty seawater is likely to inundate many of the freshwater habitats these turtles need.

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