ROEHAMPTON, England, July 22 (UPI) — Global warming could threaten African ape survival by depriving apes of sufficient time for such basic daily survival skills as finding food, researchers say.
British scientists said rising world temperatures and shifts in rainfall patterns could cause chimpanzees to lose up to 50 percent and gorillas up to 75 percent of their remaining habitats, a study published in the Journal of Biogeography said Thursday.
Increased temperatures mean ape species have to rest more and more often to avoid overheating, causing them to run out of time for daily survival activities, making some marginal habitats uninhabitable, the study said.
“In reality, the effects of climate change on African apes may be much worse, as our model does not take into account possible anthropogenic effects, such as habitat destruction by humans and the hunting of apes for bushmeat,” Julia Lehmann of Roehampton University said.
Global warming threatens to have strong effects on ape behavior, distribution and survival, pushing them even further to the brink of extinction, the study said.
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