Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World

Irreplaceable Wildlife in A Warming World
Graphic of irreplacable species, emperor penguin.
We are connected to each other, to our environment. From faraway places to our own backyard. But climate change is now changing the Earth as we know it, and animals and plants from the Arctic to the Everglades are feeling the consequences.
Key Resources:

Atlantic Lobster

An enduring New England icon, the Atlantic lobster has long been a mainstay of local economies and livelihoods along the northeast coast. These highly-prized crustaceans can live up to 50 years and will develop a stronger left or right claw for crushing their food.
Photo Credit:
Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic / ILCP (Part of Irreplaceable Wildlife Photo Exhibit)
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Atlantic Lobster

Scientific Name: 
Homarus americanus
IUCN Red List: 
Not Evaluated
Endangered Species Act List: 
No data

An enduring New England icon, the Atlantic lobster (also known as the American lobster or the Maine lobster) has long been a mainstay of local economies and livelihoods along the northeast coast. The lobster’s most recognizable trait is its large claws, which it uses for fighting and hunting. Although both claws start off identical, the lobster eventually favors one claw over the other, with the favored claw becoming the larger, slow-moving "ecrusher," and the smaller claw becoming a fast-moving “pincher” used for grabbing prey.

Climate Change Impacts

As tough as they may look, a 1999 major lobster die-off in the Long Island Sound sounded alarm bells that these crustaceans are actually more vulnerable to disease in warmer waters. As ocean temperature rises from global warming, lobsters need more oxygen to survive and have a harder time fighting off infections. Uncomfortably warm waters will likely drive the valuable lobsters out of their southern New England habitat and into colder, northern waters.

Irreplaceable in Your Neighborhood

The Earthjustice traveling photo exhibit, Irreplaceable: Wildlife in a Warming World, is available to bring education, scholarship and research to your community. For more information on booking the exhibit, including fees, exhibit specifications, requirements and descriptions, please contact Nadine de Coteau at 1-800-584-6460.