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Climate change prompts Florida wildlife movement, researchers say

A University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences study shows that wildlife is moving because of climate change.

Piercing dark eyes gazed at bird enthusiasts and scientists at Paynes Prairie in April. The snail kite, an endangered species native to the Everglades, hadn’t been seen as far north as Gainesville for 100 years — until last year, that is.

Some research suggests climate change may play a role in the species’ new breeding grounds.

A recently published study by University of Florida researcher Brett Scheffers and Gretta Pecl of the University of Tasmania suggests that wildlife is on the move as a result of climate change, and Florida’s fauna seem to be following the observed trends.

“It’s not a thing of the future,” Scheffers said. “It’s happening now.”

The Nature Climate Change paper, “Persecuting, protecting or ignoring biodiversity under climate change,” discusses the different ways people have responded to species that have moved because of climate change. […]

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