A meerkat (Suricata suricatta) is without doubt among the most instantly recognisable mammals on the planet, but research shows that being popular is no defence against climate change.
The animals live in the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa. A study by researchers at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, and Cambridge University in England, using almost 10 years of population and climate data, points to an uncertain future for the little cuties.
The results suggest the combined effects of hotter and drier summers in the Kalahari would threaten the persistence of the meerkat population, resulting in fewer offspring and possibility of population collapse.
The research is published in the journal Science.
Related reading: The things animals do
Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.