8 Top Species Threatened by Climate Change

Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on January 27, 2017. 

The Trump Administration tried to demand the Environmental Protection Agency take down its website to educate people about climate change.

They later stood down from the decision, but this is likely the beginning of Trump’s assault on environmental conservation.

He’s repeatedly denied even the existence of climate change, accelerated by human activity. He wants to dismantle the EPA. He’s also flirting with withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, which lays out a concrete plan for cutting down on emissions.

In the meantime, species are dying.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, more than 1,400 animal species are endangered due to climate change

Countless others will likely follow.

Here’s just a few animals who are living on the edge.

1. Bearded Seal

Bearded seal

Photo Credit: KerryInLondon

Last fall, the second biggest court in the United States let a Pacific bearded seal get listed as endangered. Not necessarily because of dwindling populations now, but projections that melting sea ice will drastically slash their numbers this century.

This was the first time the Endangered Species Act protected an animal based on climate predictions.

2. Bees

Frequently tied to climate change, longer, colder winters and droughts are among the causes thought to lead to bees dying.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put seven Hawaiian species on the endangered list in October. This marks the first time U.S. bees have been included.

3. Waved Albatross

Waved Albatross

Photo Credit: iefetell

More than half of vertebrates native to the Galapagos are endangered, vulnerable or near threatened. One is the waved albatross, who has a 2.4-meter wingspan.

Climate change and overfishing threaten the albatross the most.

4. Baltimore Oriole

The National Audubon Society found climate change threatens over half of North American bird species.

Western songbirds like the Baltimore oriole, for instance, may need to nest farther and farther north. By 2080, the only remaining orioles in Maryland may be the Major League Baseball team.

5. Northern Hairy-Nose Wombat

Overall, Australia’s marsupials are in trouble.

Severe weather and increased droughts particularly endanger the Northern hairy-nose wombat, whose small numbers cut into their survival.

6. Polar Bear

Polar bears and climate change

Photo Credit: flickrfavorites

Polar bears threatened by receding sea ice has been well-documented. Their summertime hunting has become harder as Arctic ice melts earlier and earlier in the year.

“Some media reports have suggested that this might mean polar bears could just come ashore and eat terrestrial foods and somehow do fine without the sea ice,” scientist Steven Amstrup tells National Geographic. “We have absolutely no evidence that they have the ability to do this.”

7. Corals

The Caribbean used to host a coral called Acropora cervicornis everywhere.

Now, warming ocean waters are likely among the reasons you can only find the coral in a few places.

8. American Pika

The American pika isn’t considered threatened—yet.

The alpine dweller belongs to the rabbit family and faces habitat loss as cold habitats get warmer.

Now is a more important time than ever to remind your leaders and the climate change deniers in your life that climate change exists.

We need to do something.

Here’s some tips if you’re overly anxious about climate change or if you want to know how you can help.

Photo Credit: Bryant Olsen


Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Chad Anderson
Chad A10 months ago


Ann B
Ann Babout a year ago

when they are gone they are gone --man SEEMS DETERMINE TO destroy THE ONLY PLANET WE HAVE wasting money on such foolish things like air force one perhaps

Georgina M
Georgina Elizab Mabout a year ago

I think all animals need protection at all times from humans

HEIKKI Rabout a year ago

thank you

Cindy S
Cindy Smithabout a year ago


Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnellabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

Amanda McConnell
Amanda McConnellabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

Marija M
Marija Mabout a year ago

tks for sharing

Janis K
Janis Kabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing.