Wildlife

Heat Wave Victims

Spain’s earliest intense heat wave in 40 years killed hundreds of baby swifts after the hatchlings fled their sweltering nests too soon.

The threatened birds were seen littering the streets around the southern cities of Córdoba and Seville. Residents of both communities gathered all of the dehydrated and starving birds they could find so they could be nursed back to health. “You would walk down the street and there would be 100 chicks, lying at the foot of a building … some barely alive,” said biologist Elena Moreno Portillo of the urban conservation group Ecourbe.

New Zealand sea sponge populations ‘dying by the millions’ due to climate change

Shocking images have emerged from New Zealand showing millions of once-velvety brown sea sponges bleached bone white, the worst mass bleaching event of its type ever recorded, marine scientists say.

The alarming discovery comes amid a continued rise in ocean temperatures, a trend that scientists say is overwhelmingly due to planet-warming fossil fuel emissions. New Zealand scientists discovered thousands of bleached sea sponges in May of this year, in cold waters off the country’s southwestern coast. Further findings showed the damage was far worse, with millions — possibly tens of millions — of sea sponges affected throughout the Fiordland region.

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