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Image and text:
courtesy of The Institute of Critical Zoologists.

On Uncompahgre and Red Cloud Peaks in the mountains of Colorado, the Uncompahgre Fritillary is becoming extinct.

” The Uncompahgre Fritillary never should have been there in the first place. The climate was habitable many years ago during the Ice Age, but the animals failed to retreat with the glaciers and ended up trapped in the mountains, thousands of miles from its proper arctic climate. Facing several consecutive years of warm weather due to global warming, the Uncompahgre Fritillary has steadily climbed the mountain in search of a cooler climate. Now it has reached the top, and it can climb no more; it’s being ecologically pushed off the top. When it finally reaches the top the Uncompahgre Fritillaries will be merely one of hundreds of simultaneously occurring extinctions that we happen to notice. In other words, this phenomenon happens all the time.

A recent phenomenon in nature has seen many species of animals relocating higher up into the mountains to seek cooler climates due to their original habitats being warmed up by global warming.

12th June 2011, marks the 2nd week I am here at 12,168 feet, looking for the Uncompahgre Fritillary. Its nearing summer and they are getting restless. “

Zhao Renhui and Satoshi Kataoka, Expedition #8