Climate change taking its toll on North American wildlife

Never mind polar bears and penguins — turns out global warming is having its way with the feathered and furry throughout North America. A three-year study released yesterday by the Wildlife Society, a nonpartisan group of wildlife experts, suggests that climate change in North America is affecting migration routes, breeding habits, and blooming cycles of animals and plants across the continent. Add to that the destruction of wildlife habitat for development and you get what Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) calls “a deadly combination.” The new study, the first comprehensive look at global warming’s effects on North American wildlife, adds to the laundry list of evidence suggesting that climate shifts are having a major impact on ecosystems. “We are changing the environment and climate in which our wildlife live like never before,” said wildlife ecologist Doug B. Inkley, who oversaw work on the report.