Mar 09,2007 00:00
Jessica Hellmann discusses climate change, butterflies, March 27 at the Oregon Zoo
"Studies have shown that butterflies have responded to climate change in two ways," says Hellmann. "Some species have shifted their geographic distribution poleward and upward in elevation, but others have experienced population extinctions as climatic conditions change."
Further research is needed to determine whether butterflies are evolving in response to climate change, notes Hellmann. "It would not be surprising to see genetic changes in populations due to climate change, but species are unlikely to evolve entirely new adaptations to climate change as the pace of warming is incredibly fast," she says.
Hellmann will also address the role humans could play in helping species at risk of extinction. "Individuals, policy makers, and land managers all have a role to play in preserving global diversity, and Northwestern ecosystems can teach us how to be effective stewards," she says.The Wildlife Conservation Lecture series is sponsored by Pro Photo Supply, Shiels Obletz Johnsen and New Belgium Brewing. Hosts for the series are the Audubon Society of Portland, the Oregon Zoo and the