Hockey players and fans credit their love for the sport to playing on frozen backyard or neighborhood ponds. The outdoor element is key to this cold weather game. But climate change threatens to shorten or halt this traditional introduction to the sport. Natural ice is freezing later and thawing earlier.
It’s not just the sport of hockey that is in jeopardy, it’s our hockey team’s wildlife mascots as well. Many of the plants and animals that inspired our favorite teams’ names and mascots are facing a losing streak. From the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Toledo Walleye, climate change is quickly becoming the toughest opponent to the long-term survival of wildlife. Climate change impacts alter key habitat elements critical to survival, putting wildlife at risk.
The National Wildlife Federation works every day to protect America’s wildlife from climate change by advocating for strong climate legislation, fighting for increased wildlife-friendly renewable energy, and building support for the Clean Power Plan. The NHL has also recently moved towards climate action. In 2014 the League released a sustainability report with plans to reduce their carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. The report acknowledges the importance of cold temperatures and available freshwater to make ice, and host outdoor hockey events, giving the League a vested interest in curbing climate change.
These hockey mascots and the wildlife they represent are on thin ice as climate change degrades their habitats and makes it harder to find food. Join the power shot to keep your favorite team and their mascot skating to victory.
Many professional and collegiate ice hockey teams have mascots that face extinction as climate change heats up.
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