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.
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