Coastal lupine faces specific extinction threat from climate change

by Talia Ogliore, Washington University in St. Louis

Climate change is altering the world we share with all living things. But it’s surprisingly difficult to single out climate change as an extinction threat for any one particular species protected under the Endangered Species Act.

To date, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has only formally considered impacts from climate change in listing actions for four animal species and one alpine tree.

But the effects of climate change extend to temperate climates as well. A new analysis of population data published in the journal Ecosphere shows that climate change represents a specific extinction threat for an endangered coastal lupine plant.

Biologists including Eleanor Pardini at Washington University in St. Louis have tracked all of the known stands of Tidestrom’s lupine, Lupinus tidestromii, at Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco for more than 14 years.

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