Clownfish and staghorn coral are among 10 species identified as those hardest hit from climate change due to increased CO2 emissions and ocean acidification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Monday. The full report, Species and Climate Change, lists the 10 species as a flagship representation all highlighting the way climate change adversely affects marine, terrestrial and freshwater habitats. Besides the Clownfish and staghorn coral, the list includes the Beluga Whale, Emperor Penguin, Quiver Tree, Ringed Seal, salmon, Arctic Fox, Koala Bear and the Leatherback Turtle. Read more and see a video montage of the species after the break.
â€œHumans are not the only ones whose fate is at stake here in Copenhagen â€“ some of our favorite species are also taking the fall for our CO2 emissions,â€ says report co-author Wendy Foden. â€œThis report should act as a wake-up call to governments to make real commitments to cut CO2 emissions if we are to avoid a drastically changed natural world. We simply donâ€™t have the time for drawn-out political wrangling. We need strong commitments and we need them now.â€
Staghorn corals, representing over 160 species, are threatened and suffering from higher ocean temperatures causing bleaching and ocean acidification from rising CO2 levels weakening the coral skeleton. Clownfish are also threatened by ocean acidification, disrupting their sense of smell and becoming vulnerable from predation since they canâ€™t â€œsmellâ€ their host anemone, which they rely on for protection. For more information on the rest of the species, read the entire news release here.