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Projected climate change could trigger massive range contractions among amphibian and reptile species in the southwest of Europe, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biogeography.
However, increases in aridity could trigger contractions in the distributions of nearly all species occurring in the southwest of Europe, including Portugal, Spain and France. Impacts in these three countries are not trivial because, together, they hold 62% of the amphibian and reptile species present in Europe. The high proportion of amphibian and reptile species occurring in these three countries is due to the key role played by the Iberian Peninsula as refugia against extinctions during past glacial periods.
With projected climate changes 'these hotpots of persistence might be at risk of becoming hotspots of extinction', says Dr.Miguel Araújo.
Article: Miguel B. Araújo, Wilfried Thuiller and Richard G. Pearson (2006). Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe. Journal of Biogeography.
Source: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. June 2006.
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