Wētā Alpine Species Habitat Slowly Disappears

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Six new alpine species, Wētā, have been discovered in New Zealand. This discovery of the most peculiar insect is a bit alarming. A research study has revealed the global warming treat. This threat is decreasing their snowy mountain environment. Which can become a cause of their extinction.

Wētā species are related to crickets and grasshoppers. Moreover, there are between 70 and 100 species of Wētā that are only found in New Zealand. The characteristics of these insects are that they are wingless and nocturnal. Furthermore, some of the species, such as the wetapunga, are among the world’s biggest insects. Which roughly weighs the same as a sparrow.

 Wētā alpine species
(Image source: Guardian.com)

Another interesting fact about this species is that it formerly crept across forests, grasslands, caverns, and alpine terrains. However recently their populations have declined due to the introduction of foreign pests and rising habitat loss due to dairy production.

A Weta expert, Steve Trewick said, “We knew that there are wētā up there in the high elevation, but the description of their variation has never been done, because although we knew they were there, they were not getting a lot of observation.”

The most alarming fact has been shared in the IPCC report. The report states, it is almost inevitable now that the temperature would rise above 1.5 C. This is the level above which many of the effects of climate change will become apparent and irreversible.

Global warming is hastening the extinction of alpine species. Particularly for the secretive alpine weta that dwell in the mountains. This landscape is most rapidly disappearing. Moreover, it is growing increasingly solitary.

Current research is focusing on New Zealand biodiversity and terrains. However it has been demonstrated that “no part of the planet is exempt from global climate change and the world is going to feel the pinch over the next 30 to 50 years.”

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