Western Glacier Stonefly

Western Glacier Stonefly

Latin name: Zapada Glacier,
Conservsation status: vulnerable (population is decreasing)

One of 3,500 species of Stoneflies, this rare insect breeds in only a few cold water streams immediately below melting glaciers or next to permanent snowfields in Glacier National Park, USA.

Since 1960, the average summer temperature in Glacier National Park has increased by around 1 °C and glaciers have declined by 35%. By counting Stoneflies, scientists can determine how quickly glaciers are melting and the temperature of streams. In a two year search begun in 2011, scientists found the Stonefly in only one of the six streams it had previously occupied and discovered that it had retreated to two different streams at higher altitudes. Satellite data confirm that the world’s glaciers are declining, affecting the availability of fresh water for humans, animals and plants, and contributing to sea level rise.


Other animals at risk

Whooping Crane
Whooping Crane
The tallest bird in North America, the Whooping Crane is able to fly 500 miles a day. Some young cranes hatched in captivity learned their migration routes by following ultralight air craft.
Black-footed Albatross
Black-footed Albatross
The Black-Footed Albatross lives up to 60 years and may travel thousands of miles in a lifetime, using a specialized gliding technique that saves muscle and energy. It is able to smell food across vast expanses of ocean. Mates court for two years and pair for life.
Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Puffins dive as deep as 200 ft. for food, stay under water for more than a minute, and fly up to 40 mph.
Beluga
Beluga
Belugas make such a variety of sounds—clicks, twitters, whistles, and mimics of other sounds—they have been nicknamed "sea canaries." As much as 40% of their body mass is blubber, which stores energy and keeps them warm in temperatures as low as 0 °C. The smallest whale on the planet, a baby Beluga gains up to 200 pounds a day.

The Western Glacier Stonefly is at risk from climate change because of: