The spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus), an amazing creature that walks the ocean floor, is a rare Australian fish from the family Brachionichthyidae. It is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List 2002. is the first Australian marine species to be threatened with extinction.
The greatest threats to the handfish appear to be siltation and invasive species. The Derwent Estuary where the fish lives is highly urbanised and industrialised, and a range of marine pests have been introduced through shipping. One key pest is the Northern Pacific Seastar (Asterias amurensis), a particularly large and voracious predator that is now abundant in the estuary. Studies by CSIRO show that the seastars eat the stalked ascidians that the handfish use to attach their eggs.
A new report (detailed here) from Columbia University details how climate change may effect Central Park. The report says rising temperatures will be hard on our trees—especially the young and old—and on the organisms (both animal and vegetal) that live in our man made bodies of water, and it may make caring for our famous lawns ever more challenging.
But, there is an upside. Central Park is actually a useful tool in mitigating the effects of climate change. As long as we, the Central Park Conservancy, continue to support the Park’s biodiversity and keep our ecosystem healthy (a task we are deeply committed to), then the Park will continue to “increase its resilience to climate change, and make it a suitable habitat for more plants and animals.”