Species that live in the mountains are particularly threatened by climate change. Because the temperatures drop from about 0.65°C for every 100 min of elevation gain (known as temperature drop) suggests a 1°C increase that climate-sensitive species living on a mountain would be displaced at least 150 m (1. 5 m/year) altitude difference between the years 2000 and 2100.
Species that live on the lower slopes of mountains and are mobile enough to make such an adaptation may have the ability to move to higher ground. However, species living on or near mountain peaks may have nowhere to go as the world warms, leading to what biologists call mountain top extinctions.
For example, due to climate change, the population of some bird species endemic to the Cape Floristic region’s mountains has shrunk by 30% over the past two decades. Species inhabiting Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains, Albertine Rift, and the Guinean Forests of West Africa, appear to have experienced similar declines.
Given these observations, it is only a matter of time before one of Africa’s mountain specialists follows the example of Costa Rica’s once-abundant Monteverde golden toad (Bufo periglenes, EX), the first known amphibian extinction
attributed to climate change.