There are some consequences from climate change that are easy to see – melting glaciers, climbing sea levels and some seriously nasty droughts – and then there are the not so obvious effects. One of these subtler repercussions can be seen in the alpine Chamois goat, which is now about 25% smaller than it was just 30 years ago according to a new study from Durham University.

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Researchers studied the size of animals as reported by local hunters and found that as temperatures have increased in the Alpine area by 3 – 4 degrees Celsius, the goats have decreased in size. According to the research, the problem isn’t caused by lack of vegetation from a changing environment, but perhaps because the animals have been spending more time hiding in the shade to escape the heat rather than grazing.

Related: New Map Shows Accelerated Animal Migration and Extinction Due to Climate Change

Although the alpine goat isn’t the only animal to change in size as a result of climate change, researchers are surprised at the speed and magnitude of the change and they worry that the abrupt change could threaten the goat’s survival. “[T]he decreases we observe here are astonishing. The impacts on Chamois weight could pose real problems for the survival of these populations,” said lead author Dr. Tom Mason.

Via Motherboard

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