SO many things are blamed on global warming. A quick internet search of reported repercussions just beginning with ‘p’, includes psychiatric illness, puffin decline, plankton blooms, polar bears drowning, polar bears cannibalistic and polar bears deaf.
Last week another was added when Professor Steven Williams from James Cook University, said a rare white possum might have disappeared as a consequence of global warming.
After some research of my own I discovered the “the white possum” is more commonly known as a lemuroid ringtail (Hemibelideus lemuroid) and is usually a charcoal brown colour.
Professor Williams’ concerns are based on a 0.6 to 0.8C degree Celsius temperature rise in Australia over the last 100 years or so and not seeing any white possums during recent expeditions to the Carbine Tablelands in Far North Queensland – a place which was known to have had some rare white-furred individuals.
Much of the possum species’ known preferred habitat (high altitude Far North Queensland), is extremely remote – places like Thornton Peak, at an altitude of 1,374 metres are difficult to access and treacherous to navigate particularly at night when the possum is active and thus most likely to be sighted.
Indeed it would seem the professor’s concern, that this may be the first mammal to go extinct as a result of global warming, could be considered somewhat premature.
Published research on lemuroid ringtails has concluded the species is most at risk from “habitat fragmentation” because they were reluctant to cross roads or even powerline corridors.
Apparently, rope bridges can help maintain “social integration and genetic diversity” in such cases.
Given the white possum prefers high altitude regions were there aren’t many roads, spending money on rope bridges may be no more useful than Professor Williams claiming we must do something about global warming.
I suspect future generations will look back and scratch their heads in wonder at the extent to which our scientists became so utterly captivated by the current global warming hysteria.
You can find a complete list of things caused by global warming at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm
For further reading I suggest ‘Importance of canopy connectivity for home range and movements of the rainforest arboreal ringtail possum (Hemibelideus lemuroides)’, by Robyn Wilson, Helene Marsh and John Winter, Wildlife Research, Vol 34, No. 3, pgs 177-184.
This article is republished from The Land.
Picture is of Thornton Peak and taken by Neil Hewett.