Italian Alpine chamois and climate change

This is a chamois video from France.

From Wildlife Extra:

Alpine goats shrinking due to global warming

Climate change is causing Alpine goats in the Italian Alps to shrink, say scientists from Durham University.

The researchers, who have been studying the Alpine Chamois for the last 30 years, have found young Chamois now weigh about 25 percent less than animals of the same age in the 1980s. These declines they believe is strongly linked to the region warming by 3-4ºC during the 30 years of the study.

Although this shrinking in itself is not unusual as a lot of studies have found that animals are getting smaller because of the changing climate, this is usually due to the decling availability and nutritional content of their food, which is not true in this case.

The study found no evidence that Alpine meadows grazed by Chamois had been affected by the warming climate. Instead, the team believes that higher temperatures are affecting how chamois behave.

Co-author Dr Stephen Willis said: “We know that Chamois cope with hot periods by resting more and spending less time searching for food, and this may be restricting their size more than the quality of the vegetation they eat.”

“Body size declines attributed to climate change are widespread in the animal kingdom, with many fish, bird and mammal species getting smaller, said lead author Dr Tom Mason. “However the decreases we observe here are astonishing. The impacts on Chamois weight could pose real problems for the survival of these populations.

“This study shows the striking, unforeseen impacts that climate change can have on animal populations. It is vital that we continue to study how climate change affects species such as Chamois. Changes in body size could act as early-warning systems for worse impacts to come, such as the collapses of populations.”

See also here.

Sean Hawkey interviews veteran Peruvian revolutionary turned environmental campaigner Hugo Blanco about the importance of the climate change talks in Lima: here.

6 thoughts on “Italian Alpine chamois and climate change

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  3. Dear friends across Europe,

    The world is about to sign up to a 100% clean energy future! But the goal to completely cut carbon is at risk at the Lima climate talks. Let’s flood negotiators with messages now to make sure they know the world is watching, and to stand strong for climate action!

    Something huge is happening this week — our governments are about to set a goal to cut carbon pollution completely, putting us on a path to 100% clean energy! This target is now in the draft Global Climate Agreement, but it is at risk.

    Right now, Ministers from all over the world are on their way to Lima, Peru to hammer out the agreement. But oil, coal and fracking companies, and countries that want to keep polluting are lobbying hard to pull this crucial target from the text. That’s where we come in.

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    The Avaaz team is on the ground and will ensure each country’s delegate and media know how many messages have been sent per country, and our messages could even be projected onto screens right in the conference hall and hand delivered to Ministers.

    Long time climate activists are saying there is more hope for action now than ever! After hundreds of thousands of us took to the streets in September demanding climate action, the EU, US and China finally started to move in the right direction. Getting their commitment to reduce carbon pollution to zero would be a massive step forward. Let’s lock in this progress before the lobbyists can unravel it. Send a message now:

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    With hope,

    Alice, Iain, David, Emily, Laura, Oscar, Fatima, Ricken and the whole Avaaz team


    UN climate talks begin as global temperatures break records (BBC)

    Prior to climate deal, talks begin in Peru (Times of India)

    Will Lima climate talks pave way for a binding treaty in Paris in 2015? (The Guardian)

    Cautious optimism as delegates descend on Lima ahead of UN climate talks (ABC News)


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