cracked mud bank in drought conditions

Climate & Environment

As you travel from a cool mountain top to an arid desert most of the animals you will see will change. This simple pattern illustrates how many animals are strongly influenced by their environment, and also points to how many animals may also be very sensitive to environmental change. Queensland Museum collections provide a critical resource for understanding, detecting and managing how animals are being impacted by environmental change.

Research on bird specimens has shown that over the last century their shape and size has been changing in response to the increasing frequency of extreme heat events.

Detailed collections of insects and other animals from mountains of eastern Queensland provide a long-term resource for testing if species ranges are shifting uphill in response to ongoing rapid increases in global average temperatures.

Collections of corals, molluscs and sponges from different decades allow us to understanding how ocean acidification and pollution may be impacting on these organisms’ ability to lay down shells.

Research on fossil deposits and genetic analyses provide a window into the profound impacts of past climatic change on the distribution and diversity of Queensland’s animals.

You can learn more about Queensland's environments and the threats they face at the Wild State exhibition at Queensland Museum, Brisbane.


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Did you know you don't have to come to the museum to see our collection?

Over 1 million specimens are now accessible from our biodiversity collection online for free. All you need is your device and a little bit of inspiration to explore Queensland’s cultural and natural heritage.

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