UCLA-led study highlights effects of climate change on California newts

March 23, 2020

A UCLA-led study found that the body conditions of the California newt decreased an average of 20 percent from 2008-2016 as a result of the latest drought. As climate change continues to change temperature and precipitation rates, experts predict the species will continue to suffer.

Photo source: Gary Bucciarelli/UCLA

“This is a biological equivalent of seeing Antarctica glaciers melting,” said Brad Shaffer, study co-author and UCLA distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “When you actually see that happen in your face, it’s really striking.” 

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Study authors:

Gary M. Bucciarelli, lead author and assistant adjunct professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Morgan A. Clark, research assistant, Pepperdine University Natural Science Division

Katy S. Delaney, wildlife ecologist, National Park Service

Robert N. Fisher, conservation biologist, U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center

Rodney L. Honeycutt, professor of biology and divisional dean, Pepperdine University

Lee B. Kats, Vice Provost for Research and Strategic Initiatives, Frank R. Seaver Chair of Natural Science and professor of biology, Pepperdine University

Seth P.D. Riley, wildlife ecologist, National Park Service

H. Bradley Shaffer, UCLA La Kretz Center director and distinguished professor, UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology