Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Shaye Wolf, (510) 844-7101,

Press Release

Report: Climate-Fueled Superstorms Pushing 10 U.S. Species Closer to Extinction


The Puerto Rican parrot and the Florida manatee are among 10 U.S. species especially at risk from climate change-fueled superstorms, says a report released today by the Center for Biological Diversity.

Human-caused climate change is multiplying the destructive power of hurricanes by increasing their intensity, rainfall and storm surge — the huge walls of water that crash into coastlines during storms. These superstorms cause flooding, severe winds and scattered debris that can kill or injure animals and damage habitats.

“The climate crisis is feeding monster hurricanes that bring suffering and death to some of our nation’s most vulnerable wildlife,” said report author Shaye Wolf, the Center’s climate science director. “With each superstorm, coastal species already near extinction are blown away by brutal winds, drowned by floodwaters or left with decimated habitats. It’ll only get worse until we get serious about curbing climate pollution.”

Wolf analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service and scientific literature to determine which endangered species are most threatened by intensifying Atlantic hurricanes. The table below lists 10 of the species most at risk, along with their population sizes and locations.

Many species on the list suffered enormous population declines from one or more recent Atlantic hurricanes, including Harvey, Maria and Irma. For example, Hurricanes Maria and Irma wiped out nearly half of the wild Puerto Rican parrot population. Hurricane Irma slashed the Florida key deer population by 23 percent.

The report concludes that urgent action to combat the climate emergency is necessary to save these species from extinction. Those actions include a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel production and a just transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. It also calls for protecting and restoring living shorelines and defending the Endangered Species Act from the Trump administration’s attacks.

“The Trump administration is dismantling critical climate policies with one hand and tearing down the Endangered Species Act with the other,” Wolf said. “To preserve a future where magnificent green sea turtles still nest on our shores, and to avoid catastrophic ecosystem collapse, we need to act now.”



At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive. 

EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·

Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·

Betrayal of Railway Workers Ignites Working-Class Fury Toward Biden and Democrats

"Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic," said one rail leader. "Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class 1 rail carriers every time."

Jessica Corbett ·

With GOP House Control Looming, Pascrell Calls for Swift Release of Trump Tax Records

"Donald Trump tried to hide his tax returns from our oversight but after 1,329 days we have finally obtained the documents," said the New Jersey Democrat. "We should review and release them."

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo