SOURCE: BBC News

DATE: October 29, 2018

SNIP: Researchers have long predicted many creatures will seek to escape a warmer world by moving towards higher ground.

However, those living at the highest levels cannot go any higher, and have been forecast to decline.

This study found that eight bird species that once lived near a Peruvian mountain peak have now disappeared.

Researchers are particularly concerned about tropical mountain ranges and the impacts of climate change.

The species that live in these regions are also hugely vulnerable because the difference in temperatures between lower and higher elevations in tropical regions is not as great as it is in other parts of the world. This means that moving up the slopes may not be as much of a solution for species in the tropics as it is elsewhere.

The researchers say that recent warming constitutes an “escalator to extinction” for some of these species with temperatures in the area increasing by almost half a degree Celsius between the two surveys.

Of 16 species that were restricted to the very top of the ridge, eight had disappeared completely in the most recent survey.

The authors warn that rising temperatures will continue to drive widespread “extirpations and extinctions” of high-elevation animals and plants across the tropical Andes mountains.