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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 19:25 GMT
Climate threat: What species are at risk?
A new scientific report has warned that climate change could lead to the extinction of a million of the world's species as soon as 2050.

BBC News Online looks at some of the animals and plants at risk across the globe.


More than half of the continent's 400 butterfly species could become extinct as a result of climate change, scientists say.

Boyd's forest dragon  [pic courtesy Stephen E Williams]
At risk: Boyd's forest dragon (Image: Stephen E Williams)
Two of the most threatened species, the orange white-spot skipper and the western jewel, could lose more than 90% of their distribution ranges.

Boyd's forest dragon, a rare forest lizard, is also at high risk because it allows its body temperature to fluctuate with that of the outside environment.


Even small climate changes in flat areas of the nation - such as the Amazon forest - could force species to move unrealistic distances in an attempt to survive.

More than 2,000 native tree species in the country's Cerrado, one of the world's richest savannah regions, could also become extinct.


Red kite
Birds at risk in Europe include the red kite
Birds in Europe at risk include the spotless starling, the azure-winged magpie, the citril finch, the red kite, the parrot crossbill, the icterine warbler, marmora's warbler, the little crake, the dunnock and the crested tit.

Scientists also said that the Scottish crossbill, found only in Scotland, might have to move to Iceland because of global warming - but they warned it was unlikely the bird would survive the move.


Threatened Mexican species include the smokey pocket gopher, the Alcorn's pocket gopher, the Jico deer mouse and the cape pygmy owl.

Among the most vulnerable Mexican butterfly species are the Oaxacan swallowtail and the Howarth's white.

South Africa

Golden toad
Costa Rica's golden toad: Another victim?
In the south of the country, around 30-40% of Proteaceae flowering plants could become extinct - including the national flower, the King Protea.

A recent drought has already had a severe impact on a Proteaceae species called the toffee apple conebush.

Major conservation areas such as Kruger National Park also risk losing up to 60% of the species under their protection.

Costa Rica

Climate change has already been implicated in the extinction of the country's golden toad after a drought.

The species disappeared from a large nature reserve where its habitat had been protected.

Climate risk 'to million species'
07 Jan 04  |  Science/Nature
Oblivion threat to 12,000 species
18 Nov 03  |  Science/Nature
World 'not saving wild plants'
06 Oct 03  |  Science/Nature
No protection for many threatened species
11 Sep 03  |  Science/Nature
World 'losing battle against extinctions'
21 May 03  |  Science/Nature


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