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Joshua Trees Petition

 

Last updated 10/2/2015 at 11:28am



Joshua trees have been added to the list of 1,400 endangered species, including polar bears, now considered threatened by climate change.

Environmental group, WildEarth Guardians, thinks Joshua Trees should receive federal protection as increasing temperatures make their habitats inhabitable. On Wednesday the group petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list the trees as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Species that have adapted to extreme environments like the Arctic and deserts are particularly vulnerable, according to Zak Smith, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marine Mammal Protection Project. "There are plants and animals that have done a very good job of adapting to those extreme environments, but they’ve done so in a way that doesn’t leave a lot of room for maneuver when the environment changes.”

Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Trees) are dying off in sections of the national park and researchers believe it could lose 90 percent of its current habitat within the park by the end of the century.

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