to Joshua Tree National Park
Climate change is one of the most important challenges facing America’s national parks today. Acorrding to the National Park Service, the warming earth has become a threat to certain species. These species include the desert tortoise, bighorn sheep and the Joshua Tree itself are quickly becoming at risk. National Geographic states that by 2100, Joshua Tree National Park will lose almost all of its Joshua tree habitat due to climate change. As the climate becomes hotter the environment will experience more frequent and harsher droughts and wildfires, affecting the populations and home ranges of many species at Joshua Tree.
This heavenly desert already has unforgiving heat. But as global warming increases, many species will need to shift to higher and higher elevations affecting how species interact with each other. For example, the Joshua Tree relies and the yucca moths rely on each as an example of co-evolution. Scientists are now finding that there are some areas where the heat is too intense that not even the Joshua Tree is able to survive it. Without the trees, the moths are sure to be one of the many species facing possible extinction.
With more than 2.5 million visitors annually, here are some ways to help lower the carbon footprint at Joshua Tree. Drive hybrid or electric vehicles, recycling appropriately, drinking out of refillable bottles, do not destroy any plants or mark the trees and “no idling” with the vehicle on. If you decide to stop, please turn the vehicle off completely. Learn more about Joshua Tree at nps.gov and escape to this magical place while you still can.