Urban animals in the changing climate

Presently, a considerable variation in climate can be seen in Imphal valley. The frequent changes in temperature, wind patterns, rainfall intensity and flash floods influence the biosphere in the valley. Such changes disturb the urban animals directly or indirectly. Studies also show that a little change in the ecosystem services will bring numerous changes in the surrounding environment. The change might cause sudden shifts in vegetation and variation in ecological balance. It can lead to certain serious problems including shifts in distribution, major population declines and probable chances of extinction. Similarly, the rise in temperature results in warmer summers and longer
dry season which is of high impact as it makes family of primates susceptible to various diseases. Diseases that can be passed on to animals from humans or from animals to humans, living in urban ecosystem. Likewise, the chorusing of frogs during breeding indicates imbalance of the ecosystem. This is also attributed to the changing pattern of rainfall and erratic temperature. In addition to this, the increase in human population and infrastructure is another serious challenge for the urban fauna. Climatic factors, traffic
congestion, poor sanitation facilities in many localities, untreated waste released in water bodies and sound pollution add to the challenge. The sudden change in climate alters the habits and habitats of urban animals. The changes include morphology, physiology, behavioral activities, etc. Such variation in temperature affects the behavioral pattern of amphibian larvae, leading to the loss of population density in their suitable habitats. It also alters the balance between predator and prey. Some species of flying fox are disoriented by human induced light pollution. The phenomenon of artificial lighting also affects certain bird species like Barn owl causing a disorientation in their biological behavioral and biological rhythm, which naturally depends on the day and night cycle. Several species of amphibians are affected primarily due to loss of aquatic habitat or untreated chemical waste released in waterbodies. Water pollution is drastically
affecting aquatic life in rivers. At present, increase in urban population has led to its disconnection with natural surroundings. As observed, daily activities of an urban animal is encouraged by different responses and the degree to which it can utilize human
resources. It is evident that animals living around urban areas are good for humans but not always good for their own survival. Therefore, it is required to understand animal behaviour and their habitats to create a reference model. This source of reference can be
used to track changes due to climatic factors or anthropogenic sources in the Imphal valley. Measurable steps like making refuges and parks in urban areas can act as stepping stones for preservation of the fauna. Creation of wildlife sanctuaries and parks can also
help in rescuing small populations from extinction. Sometimes, urban parks and green infrastructure are touted for their benefits as they play a role in nurturing the urban biodiversity. Apart from the ecological value, urban animals also have economic, aesthetic and recreational importance. In particular, the urban animal is affected by habitat destruction, exposure to invasive species, increasing conflicts with humans and climate
variation and change.

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