As March Madness heats up, consider that most of the cherished real-life basketball team mascots are at risk. A new report from the National Wildlife Federation details how these species are really struggling to adapt to current environmental conditions – air pollution, waterways filled with mercury, rising sea levels and droughts.
For example, in Colorado: Buffalo (U. of Colorado): Grazing animals, bison depend on healthy grasslands. Grassland plants in warmer regions have less protein than those in cooler and wetter regions. Lower protein content can slow growth during a bison’s early life. As temperatures rise, some researchers say bison will become smaller. On average, for every one degree Fahrenheit increase in temperature, adult males weigh about 20 pounds less.