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Report: Climate Change Creates 'Mascot Madness'
With college basketball’s national championship getting underway on Tuesday, a new report says some of the real-life mascots that inspire college teams are facing a tough opponent of their own, climate change. The study, "Mascot Madness," by the National Wildlife Federation examines how environmental factors can be the toughest opponents of animals in the wild. Senior scientist Doug Inkley of the NWF said warming temperatures and resulting droughts can have a severe impact on wildlife that is already affected by shrinking habitat.
“Climate change is pushing these species to the edge of their ability to survive, and they’re forced into human areas to find food,” Inkley said.
The report said the quality of food sources for endangered wildcats like the ocelot and jaguar can be affected by drought linked to warming temperatures. University of Arizona’s wildcat mascot, which is based on the bobcat, has not yet been negatively affected, but the NWF said steps to curb climate change will benefit all wildlife.