Climate change may be the single biggest threat facing Appalachian salamanders. Here are the basic facts:
What are some signs that climate change is already occuring?
Average temperatures increased 2°F since 1970 and extreme temperatures have also increased.
What are the predictions for the eastern U.S.?
- Even warmer temperatures (by 5-9 °F).
- The number of extremely hot summer days will quadruple over the next century.
- Less snow in winter and an earlier spring.
- More intense rainstorms in between longer droughts.
What does this mean for salamanders?
- Salamanders will disappear from areas that become too dry or too warm.
- When draught causes small ponds to dry up, many salamander populations will be left with nowhere to breed.
- Salamanders living on mountaintops won’t be able to move to cooler habitats and may become extinct.