Climate winners and losers
The winners and losers of climate change in the UK.
Spring once again reminds us that the UK is bursting with diverse wildlife. But this rich diversity of life is under threat.
This season, for the first time for Springwatch we discuss the affects of climate change on UK wildlife.
When we think of extinct wildlife we usually look far back into the past to animals like the dinosaur or the dodo; but wildlife extinction is not a problem from the past it is happening in the UK today.
Unless we start acting now the cheeky chirp of the house sparrow will not be heard by the next generation. As habitats are changing, wildlife is being forced to adapt to survive. Like the beautiful scotch argus butterfly, which is moving further and further north to sustain its population. This mottled butterfly is still wide spread in Scotland but is now only found in two places in England.
Just last month, Natural England's Lost Life report identified climate change as having a significant impact on UK species. Climate change is affecting our wildlife and it is happening now.
It's hard to think of climate change as having a positive impact on wildlife but some species will flourish in a warmer climate. An increase of a few degrees will see a rise in butterfly and moth populations, like the clouded yellow butterfly, the large blue butterfly and hummingbird hawk moth; and as our sea becomes warmer you can count on more sightings of sun fish and squid.
In the Springwatch climate change special we listed who might be the winners and losers of climate change in the UK. Here's a reminder with links to more detailed info about the species.
Arctic Skua: Staffan Widstran / naturepl.com
At four, is the dottrel, which needs the sparsely vegetated mountain tops to breed. But in a warmer world more plants would survive higher up, reducing the dottrel's nesting habitat.
At three is the Snowdon lily - found no where else on earth. As more warm-loving, aggressive plants take over, it will not be able to move higher to escape them.
At number two it's the Arctic skua, which breeds on the Shetland Isles. This habitat will get too hot for nesting in warmer summers; and being the most northerly point of Britain anyway, it can't shift its nest sites any further north.
Holding pole position at number one, it's our beech woods. These woods could disappear from the south of England as a warmer world means top soil will dry quickly in the summer, killing off shallow tree roots.
Mountain Hare: Andrew Parkinson / naturepl.com
At number five, cattle egrets. Normally just an occasional visitor, these birds are starting to live here all year round in large numbers.
At four, migrant butterflies from Africa. These new arrivals have been booming with record numbers seen in Britain after longer warmer summers.
At three, the muntjac. This little deer has no breeding season so warmer weather will mean better survival rates for young born in the winter.
At two it's the greater horse shoe bat. Warmer winters will mean greater survival rate for adults and young alike.
And at number one, it's the colourful bee eaters. These dazzling insect eating specialists could well become a breeding species in the British Isles.
Explore the topic of climate change with the OU.
Explore the impact of climate change on UK wildlife.
Chris investigates what climate change means for UK wildlife.
The Wildlife Trust Living Landscape project.
Take part in a wildlife survey.
Take a tour around your town's wildlife hotspots.
Find prehistoric life in everyday places with our guide.
Where to see whales, dolphins, sharks, seals and seabirds in the UK.
Get the latest on the efforts to save our seas.