News Round-Up

As climate change messes with temperature and precipitation, California newts suffer


California didn’t get much of a break.

Just three years after the 2011–2017 drought, one of the severest in recorded history for the state, the driest February in 150 years has spurred discussion of whether we’re in another drought — or if the last one even ended.

That’s bad news for Los Angeles’ only newt, California newt, Taricha torosa, and other newts in the Taricha genus, particularly in the southern half of the state south of Big Sur. A UCLA-led study, in the Nature journal Scientific Reports examined body condition of newts across their entire range, from San Diego to Mendocino. In the south, researchers discovered that body condition — a measure of health that compares weight to length — decreased by an average of 20% from 2008–2016. MORE

Header image: Two newts from Southern California, the newt on the left showing 20% reduced body condition. Credit: Gary Bucciarelli/UCLA .

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