Spiegel interview with Talita F. Amado on the possible displacement of venomous snakes due to climate change

Our senior consultant Talita F. Amado gave an interview for Der Spiegel about a recent update on the possible displacement of venomous snakes due to climate change and explained the possible consequences for biodiversity and public health.

Talita F. Amado highlighted key findings from a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health where the research indicates that rising global temperatures are expanding the habitats of these reptiles, introducing them to regions previously unaffected. Amado noted, “Climate change is not only altering weather patterns but also creating conditions for the shift of the geographical distribution of venomous species, which may increase their presence in countries where they are not originally from.” As a senior author of the Lancet Planetary Health paper, she confirms the thorough analysis behind these findings. ‘Our study details how an overall increase in global temperatures can enable these snakes to seek new territories. While gradual, this shift is a noteworthy consequence of climate change, impacting both ecosystems and public health.’

Talita Amado also discussed the broader implications for biodiversity. If venomous snakes expand into new areas, they may interact with local wildlife in complex ways. “The introduction of new predator species can disrupt existing ecosystems, potentially leading to declines in native species populations,” Amado explained. This shift can create a ripple effect, altering the balance of local biodiversity. “Understanding these dynamics is crucial for developing strategies to mitigate the impact on ecosystems and maintain biodiversity”. Furthermore, the study highlights that while some regions may see an influx of new snake species, other countries could lose native snake species due to changing climates. This loss can negatively affect ecosystem health, as snakes play vital roles in controlling pest populations and maintaining balanced food webs. “The absence of these keystone species can lead to overpopulation of certain prey species, resulting in crop damage and altered vegetation patterns,” Amado pointed out. “Preserving snake populations in their native habitats is essential for sustaining healthy ecosystems.”

corsus supports companies and local municipalities in reducing negative environmental impacts through analyses, advice and process support, among other things. The preservation of biodiversity plays a particularly important role here. For example, Dr Ulrike Eberle, Managing Director of corsus, was involved in the development of a method for estimating the impact on biodiversity for life cycle assessments. Julian Quandt and Nico Mumm, Senior Consultants at corsus, are both doing their doctorates on the subject of biodiversity in life cycle assessments and recently analysed the impact of the most important crops on biodiversity. The results of their study will be presented at the LCA Food Conference 2024.

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