The Yukon is going to be affected by climate change. Some animal and plant species will expand their range and prosper, but others will prove incapable of adapting and will disappear. It isn’t clear yet which species will prove to be the winners, or the losers. But the territory will lose some of its natural biodiversity.
That’s the bad news.
Protecting huge swaths of intact wilderness can help protect the territory’s biodiversity from the worst effects of climate change. Species capable of surviving will have a place to do so, and new species will have large wild places to establish themselves, grabbing habitat left vacant by less adaptable species. The result will be a changing ecosystem, but one that has the best chance of remaining healthy into the future.
As a nation-spanning conservation organization, CPAWS is deeply involved in climate change research and action to reduce Canada’s carbon footprint. We now advocate protection of wilderness based on its importance in the future.
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