The western Joshua tree will be considered for protection under the California Endangered Species Act, possibly becoming the first plant species to be given protection of law in the state because of a primarily climate crisis-related threat. Research has shown that amid unmitigated climate change, only .02% of the tree’s current habitat in Joshua Tree national park would remain viable. Hotter and drier conditions – like the record-high temperatures that struck the state this summer – are killing off Joshua trees, and leaving fewer young to survive.
By Vivian Ho. The Guardian. September 24, 2020.