Posted by: Sandy Steinman | May 21, 2021

In a desert seared by climate change, burrowers fare better than birds

From Berkeley News

In the arid Mojave Desert, small burrowing mammals like the cactus mouse, the kangaroo rat and the white-tailed antelope squirrel are weathering the hotter, drier conditions triggered by climate change much better than their winged counterparts, finds a new study published today in Science.

Over the past century, climate change has continuously nudged the Mojave’s searing summer temperatures ever higher, and the blazing heat has taken its toll on the desert’s birds. Researchers have documented a collapse in the region’s bird populations, likely resulting from many bird species’ inability to withstand these new hotter temperatures

However, the same team that documented the birds’ decline has now found that small mammal populations in the desert have remained relatively stable since the beginning of the 20th century.

Read more at In a desert seared by climate change, burrowers fare better than birds | Berkeley News


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