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Report: Warming Climate Hurting Ohio's Next Generation of Wildlife

PHOTO: A new report finds species such as the brook trout in Ohio face an uncertain future due to the impacts of climate change. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
PHOTO: A new report finds species such as the brook trout in Ohio face an uncertain future due to the impacts of climate change. Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
May 15, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Parenting is a tough job, and a new report suggests it's becoming increasingly stressful for wildlife in Ohio.

According to a report from the National Wildlife Federation, climate change is making it harder for many animals to raise their young and keep them well fed and healthy.

Federation spokeswoman Tracy Sabetta stresses it's impacting the survival of future generations.

"We certainly see examples of this here in Ohio with brook trout and their young who need cold and clean water to thrive,” she points out. “And as temperatures in those waters rise, some streams are warming, robbing the water of oxygen needed for brook trout eggs to survive."

Sabetta also says in Ohio, climate change is shifting the habitat of the monarch butterfly, threatening white-tailed deer through an increase in deer ticks, and impacting Lake Erie walleye through decreased water levels.

To curb climate change, the report recommends immediate action to reduce carbon pollution, especially from coal-fired power plants.

Sabetta says oil, coal and other fossil fuels exacerbate climate stressors for wildlife, and there needs to be a shift to cleaner forms of energy to reduce dependence the carbon sources driving climate change.

"Our legacy should be a healthy environment for our children and future generations,” she says. “But unless we stem climate change by moving to cleaner, less-polluting energy sources we're putting future generations of the nation's wildlife and our own kids at risk in a climate-disrupted world."

Last week, the National Climate Assessment was released with the conclusion that climate change is impacting communities across the United States through heat waves, drought, heavier rainfalls and flooding.


Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH