The Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC) with funding from the Kingdom of Netherlands commissioned an in-depth study, conducted by WCS, On long-term changes in animal behavior in the Greater Virunga Landscape (GVL) resulting from industrial development, climate changes and other factors.
From the study, the results show that climate change impacts are already being seen in the GVL, including movement upslope of birds on the mountains, increasing rainfall as predicted by climate models, and increasing temperatures. Phenology patterns in forests may is also being affected by increasing temperatures, particularly for those trees where minimum temperatures may trigger flowering. Models of predicted impacts of climate change on the endemic and threatened species (108) in the GVL indicate that significant range reductions will likely occur resulting from the need to move upslope to maintain similar niches. On average species ranges have declined by 55% because of loss of habitat to agriculture and infrastructure developments in the region around the GVL and an additional 70% of what remains will be lost to climate changes by 2070, if the projected emission scenarios follow the trajectory under RCP 8.5. The Report is available for download here (6 MB)