Global warming indigestion may push gorillas, monkeys to extinction

WASHINGTON: Global warming-induced indigestion could threaten the existence of mountain gorillas and other leaf-eating primates, suggests a new study.

Experts predicted that the annual temperatures are expected to rise by 2 degrees Celsius by mid-century in some climate models and higher temperatures could lead the animals to inaction, and spending more time lounging in the shade to avoid overheating.

Principal investigator Amanda Korstjens, a biological anthropologist at Bournemouth University in the U.K, and colleagues said sitting mountain gorillas and African colobines, a large group of species including colobus monkeys, combined with less nutritious food, may push the animals to extinction.

“A two-degree temperature increase is not a very farfetched idea,” National Geographic quoted her as saying.

“Animals can adapt … and maybe primates will find another way of coping. (But) I expect that they are at their limits already,” she added.

Colin Chapman, a primate ecologist at Montreal’s McGill University, added “if the assumptions are correct,” he said, “shows a pretty big potential in changes in distribution and extinction risk.”

The study was published in the journal Animal Behaviour.

From TOI