British species migrate northward

Frog on the march
BBC Science Reporter Jonathan Amos writes that across Britain, animals are on the march, moving northwards and going to higher ground as the climate warms. About 80% of them have extended the northern margin of their domains, with an average shift of 30-60km.

He said researchers outlined their findings at the BA Festival of Science in Norwich.

Chris Thomas from the University of York said the changes fitted neatly with the predictions of climate models.

“Species are moving north, they’re climbing mountains, they’re retreating at their southern boundaries,” the professor added.

“To me, 80% is an incredibly high percentage of species, given all the other changes we’ve made to our landscape over the past 25-50 years. It’s amazing how strong already the signature of climate change is.”

Professor Thomas was detailing the analysis here at the British Association’s Science Festival.

The scientists have studied how the ranges of more than 300 species – from small mammals to insects – have changed over the past 25 years.