Which species are thriving because of climate change and which are being threatened

A Bengal Tiger is photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores, Ala. (Copyright Joel Sartore/National Geographic)

Humans are not the only species whose lives are being impacted by climate change. Animals all over the world are being forced to adapt, and while some are facing threats to their survival, others are thriving.

The November issue of National Geographic magazine will focus exclusively on climate change and climate science, including a closer look at how the shifts affect individual species.

Photos courtesy of National Geographic Climate Change issue and the National Geographic Photo Ark.

Arctic Fox: Fighting for food

An Arctic fox is photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the Great Bend Brit Spaugh Zoo in Great Bend, Kan.


The Arctic fox could face competition for food sources as the red fox moves north. The number of seal carcasses left behind by polar bears, a major source of food for the Arctic fox, will be limited as the ice melts.

Merriam's Kangaroo Rat: Going strong

A pair of Merriam's Kangaroo Rats are photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas.


These rodents have a diverse diet of seeds, along with the occasional insect. This means they're less impacted than plant-dependent species when their home in Southwestern U.S. and Mexico heats up, causing plants to dry out.

Woodland Caribou: Food just out of reach

A Woodland caribou is photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the New York State Zoo in Watertown, N.Y.


Throughout the winter, this species is usually gnawing on lichen, a combination of organisms that is becoming harder to find. That's because frozen rain and snow -- increasingly common as temperatures rise and leave moisture in the air -- gets crusted over the lichen, so the caribou can't get to it.

White-Fronted Lemur: Threatened elsewhere

Some White-Fronted Lemurs are photographed at the Naples Zoo in Naples, Fla.


The lemur population in Madagascar is threatening to drastically decrease, but not necessarily because of climate change. White-fronted lemurs in particular live in a lowland habitat where they're less threatened by climate change. They are affected though, by humans moving in.

Chinstrap Penguins: Helped, and then hurt

Chinstrap penguins are photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the Newport Aquarium in Newport, Ky.


Initially Chinstrap penguins were actually helped by melting icecaps, as they prefer to swim in open water. But the effects have crept up the food chain and caught up to them, as increased ultraviolet light is killing algae, which is eaten by krill, which is eaten by Chinstrap penguins.

Bengal Tigers: Getting washed away

A Bengal Tiger is photographed for National Geographic Magazine at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores, Ala.


When it comes to climate change, Bengal Tigers have rising sea levels to worry about as waters move into their mangroves. A World Wildlife Fund Study said there may be less than 3,000 of them remaining. If they manage to migrate farther inland with the forests, they may threaten species there.

Spectacled Eidre: Doubly endangered

Spectacled eidre are photographed at the Alaska Seallife Center in Seward, Alaska.


Spectacled eidre are being affected by climate change on both the eating and mating fronts. Icy conditions can help these northern ducks feed in the winter, as it creates nutrient-rich patches of water where they can collect clams and other food. Not only are those icy conditions becoming less frequent, but the tundra wetlands near the coast where they breed are also affected.

American Bullfrogs: Unwanted but not going anywhere

An American Bullfrog is photographed for National Geographic Magazine in Bennet, Alaska.


American Bullfrogs are one of the most successful species on the planet when it comes to invading the habitats of other species, so environmentalists don't want this population to grow. In some areas, though, climate change will cause just that, while in others it will slow it down.

Related Topics:
weatherclimate changeanimalendangered speciesnatureu.s. & world

Load Comments