Irreplaceable Wildlife: Exhibit Pictures Species In A Warming World

Update: The photo exhibit Irreplaceable is on display at the San Francisco Public Library gallery through the holidays. It heads to Los Angeles, to the G2 Gallery in Venice, for the month of January. It will move to Washington D.C. in the spring; the dates will be announced.

By Barbara Kessler

Polar bears, penguins and caribou are all facing an uncertain future as global warming melts their arctic climates.


Photo: Wendy Shattil/Bob Rozinski

If only they were the only species at risk. Tragically, these arctic animals have many cousins in similar straits in lower latitudes: From the American Crocodile to the Monarch Butterfly; the Green Sea Turtle to the Mountain Goat; the Grizzly Bear, Lynx, Mountain Yellow-legged Frog, Sugar Maple and Northern Flying Squirrel. An array of amazing mammals and marine life, as well as plants, is imperiled by climate change.

The effects are being observed already, as populations dwindle, critical habitat becomes inhospitable and breeding or wintering grounds warm.

More from GRN

Many mammals at risk of extinction

By Barbara Kessler

Polar bears, penguins, pandas have become symbols of the fight to save wild places around the world and push back global warming.

According to conservationists meeting in Barcelona this week, they have a host of company. A broad assessment of the world’s mammals reveals an “extinction crisis” with nearly one-quarter of known mammal species at risk of disappearing forever due to habitat loss, pollution, global warming, over-hunting and food chain erosion.

The study, unveiled at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, shows that 1,141 (and possibly nearly 2,000) of the world’s 5,487 mammals are known to be threatened with extinction.