Temperature change could hurt species

August 6, 2005

Researchers predict the Sinai baton blue butterfly found in an Egyptian area could persist for anther 200 years in the absence human population pressures.

The study predicts that in the absence of global warming, grazing, and plant collection -- activities linked to humans -- the world's smallest butterfly could live for at least 200 years.

The Sinai baton blue population could withstand small increases in grazing intensity that would decrease their climate, but not increases in temperature, according to Martin Hoyle, of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Exeter in England.

As the level of global warming raises its impact, extinction rapidly accelerates. This implies there may be an annual average temperature, specific to each endangered species, above which extinction becomes much more likely, says Hoyle.

The Sinai baton blue is one of only two endemic animals in St. Katherine's Protectorate, one of Egypt's most recently designated protected areas.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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