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March Madness takes on new meaning for top seed’s mascots; climate change brings endangered status

Beacon Journal staff

The three of the four men’s No. 1 seeds should hope they fare better than the animals that inspire their mascots this postseason.

The real-life animals representing the mascots for the Arizona Wildcats, Florida Gators and Wichita State Shockers are being threatened by climate change, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

“We have a new version of ‘March Madness’: Extreme weather fueled by climate change, deeper droughts, and intensifying wildfires,” said Doug Inkley, senior scientist and lead author, in a news release. “From wolverines to gators, species that have spent countless centuries adapting a home court advantage are now watching the rules of the game changed before their eyes by industrial carbon pollution. If we’re going to turn climate change into a Cinderella story, we need to act now.”

In the report, Mascot Madness: How Climate Change is Hurting School Spirit, 40 percent of all the mascots in the men’s bracket are included in this endangered list.

Read the full report here.


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