Distribution and abundance of animal species
- Observed climate change is having significant impacts on European fauna. These impacts include range shifts as well as local and regional extinctions of species.
- There is a clear poleward trend of butterfly distributions from 1990 to 2007 in Europe. Nevertheless, the migration of many species is lagging behind the changes in climate, suggesting that they are unable to keep pace with the speed of climate change.
- Distribution changes are projected to continue. Suitable climatic conditions for Europe’s breeding birds are projected to shift nearly 550 km north-east by the end of the 21st century under a scenario of 3 °C warming, with the average range size shrinking by 20 %.
- Habitat use and fragmentation and other obstacles are impeding the migration of many animal species. The difference between required and actual migration rate may lead to a progressive decline in European biodiversity.