Climate change is not just making Southern Australians miserable with the heat waves, it’s threatening the existence of crocodiles. Thanks to the shocking rise in temperatures now we aren’t the only species being affected by these high temperatures.
While the headlines of fires & people being hospitalized are currently stealing the show a recent study has revealed dire repercussions for the survival of crocodiles. The unprecedented rise in water temperature is making crocodiles abandon the water to pursue colder temperatures. If things keep progressing at the current rate this could devastate Australia’s saltwater crocodile population.
climate change has been identified as a potential threat to various ecosystems and wildlife, including saltwater crocodiles. Climate change can affect ecosystems through alterations in temperature, sea levels, and precipitation patterns, which, in turn, can impact the distribution, behavior, and survival of species.
Saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) are the largest living reptiles and are found in coastal areas across Southeast Asia, Northern Australia, and parts of the Indian subcontinent. They are known for their ability to tolerate a range of salinities and are often found in estuarine and marine environments.
Potential impacts of climate change on saltwater crocodiles may include:
- Sea Level Rise:
- Rising sea levels, a consequence of climate change, can lead to changes in coastal habitats. This may affect the availability of suitable nesting sites for crocodiles and alter the structure of estuarine environments that they inhabit.
- Temperature Changes:
- Changes in temperature can influence the sex determination of crocodile embryos. The sex of saltwater crocodile hatchlings is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are incubated. Warmer temperatures during incubation can result in more females, potentially affecting the overall population dynamics.
- Habitat Shifts:
- Changes in temperature and precipitation patterns may lead to shifts in the distribution of prey species, influencing the availability of food resources for crocodiles. This, in turn, can affect crocodile distribution and behavior.
- Extreme Weather Events:
- Climate change is associated with an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and cyclones. These events can result in habitat destruction, affecting crocodile nesting sites and disrupting ecosystems.
It’s essential to note that the specific impacts can vary by region, and there are ongoing research and monitoring efforts to better understand how climate change may affect saltwater crocodiles and other species.
For the latest and most comprehensive information on the impact of climate change on saltwater crocodiles,
Climate Change is Wreaking Havoc on Saltwater Crocodiles
The University of Queensland released an eye opening report that highlighted the troubling effects of climate change on saltwater crocodiles. According to the study, the rising temperatures of the ocean are causing crocodiles to opt out of spending time in the water. While this may seem harmless, the time spent in the water is crucial for the survival of crocodiles. Normally crocodiles spend 11 hours of the day submerged in water, taking advantage of this time to feed & reproduce.
In the study they exposed crocodiles to three different water temperatures: the average summer temperature of 28C, the moderate climate change temperature of 31.5C, & an extreme example of climate change at 35C. The UQ School of Biological Sciences professor Craig Franklin noted that saltwater crocodiles exposed to higher water temperatures tended to spend less time in the water once the temperature exceeded 31.5C.
“We thought that crocodiles, like many animals, would adjust to temperature changes so life continues,” he said.“However, we were surprised to find they had little capacity to compensate for water temperature changes and seemed to be hardwired to operate at certain temperatures. We are not sure what this means, but it’s likely that if the water is too hot, crocodiles might move to cooler regions, or will seek refuge in deep, cool water pockets to defend their dive times.”
“Their submergence times halved with every 3.5C increase in water temperature,” added lead author and PhD student Essie Rodgers. She also pointed out that the high 30s to low 40s was the “upper lethal temperature” for crocodiles.
Even though the plight of our crocodiles is alarming, the drastic effects of climate change on humanity are pushing this study into the shadows. With the climate talks in Paris generating nothing but controversy & empty promises from politicians, it’s hard not to be worried about the future. Now that more and more areas are experiencing warm winters it’s becoming an inconvenient truth that we can no longer ignore. Finding the perfect solution to free ourselves from our dependency on energy sources that are destroying the planet is proving to be easier said than done.
If we continue perpetuating the same cycle we are going to be left with a planet that’s uninhabitable. While this news is doing a great job of fueling an international race to space, we have to remember that running isn’t always the best option. It’s shocking that the idea of running to another planet after we have trashed this one is becoming a more appealing option than changing our energy sources.
Sooner or later we have to confront our destructive habits & come up with innovative ways to prevent ourselves from ruining earth before its too late.
The real question is if energy corporations are willing to trade in their profits to save the world. While this seems like an easy choice to make, the allure of money like Keno gambling has a way of perverting people’s priorities.