A research team from the University of Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) is leading an international study to analyze how venomous species respond to changes in ecosystems due to climate change that could affect their distribution. Like this, It has not been ruled out that some of these species may spread beyond their current habitat to reach places they have hitherto untouched, including cities.like some scorpions.
The species tend to be rehenes of his own physiology, being able to live only in regions with sufficient climatic conditions to survive and reproduce, and venomous species are no exception”, noted URJC professor Miguel A. Olalla-Tárraga.
In this sense, researchers work with the following hypothesis: “Climate changes in the coming decades are expected to have significant impacts on the distribution of venomous species”. Some see their spaces decrease, while others expand them.
“Many of them may reduce their range of distribution or even become extinct, losing species so important to pest control as rodents, which are one of the main foods of many snakes,” adds Olalla-Tárraga.
In the study, recently published in the journal ‘Global Change Biology’, the authors highlight the case of the African snake rhino endseems to have adapted to arid environments.
Based on mathematical models, they were able to predict that in the future there will be large regions with sufficient climatic conditions for this species to survive, which could support its expansion.
These climate changes could pose new challenges for public healthConsidering the research conducted, the species may reach countries where it is not currently available or in very low concentrations, such as Guinea-Bissau, Niger or Senegal.
They can be placed in cities
A researcher at URJC, Dr. “Some venomous species can even adapt to the urban environment,” adds Talita F. Amado. breed scorpions Titus In South America, where various species have adapted to the urban environment and have caused thousands of accidents in children in these environments.
The venom of these species is also important in the development of drugs for a wide variety of diseases, such as arthritis, thrombosis, coronary problems, diabetes or cancer.
Therefore, with the loss of species, invaluable resources such as poisons and their great potential for the development of a wide variety of drugs are lost.
“But not all species will be adversely affected by climate change, many of them will be able to increase their distribution area» highlighted another of the researchers involved in the study, Professor Pablo A. Martinez, who also belongs to the Federal University of Sergipe (UFS) in Brazil.
The authors point out that human impacts on the planet will present us with new challenges for conservation, public health and food production.
“The ongoing profound climate change and consequent changes in ecosystems will have an impact on the world that we do not yet know about. the incidence of poisoning by bites and stings of poisonous animals, According to UCR toxologist José M. Gutiérrez, it is a major problem for global public health.
This Reducing CO2 emissions and deforestation This will be key to preventing species loss as well as reducing the impact of zoonoses and harmful interactions between humans and venomous species.
The scientific team is one of the ways to overcome these challenges. more interdisciplinarity among people working in the fields of ecology, toxicology and public health, with a strong component of community participation to anticipate changes and take adequate preventive measures.
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