33 Healthy Office Snacks to Keep You Energized and Productive
Still, coming up with ideas for snacks that are easy to prep, healthy, and portable can be difficult.
Here are 33 simple and healthy snacks for work.
1. Nuts and Dried Fruit
Nuts and dried fruit make for a healthy, non-perishable snack mix.
This filling combo has a good balance of all three macronutrients, with healthy fats and protein from nuts and carbs from dried fruit. What's more, both foods are loaded with fiber that can help keep you full between meals (1, 2 Trusted Source).
2. Bell Peppers and Guacamole
Guacamole is a delicious dip typically made from avocados, lime, onion, and cilantro. It goes great with bell pepper slices or other raw veggies.
3. Brown Rice Cakes and Avocado
Be sure to look for rice cakes that are made with only rice and salt and don't have unnecessary ingredients.
4. Roasted Chickpeas
Roasted chickpeas are a non-perishable snack that's high in protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals.
A 1/2 cup (125 grams) of chickpeas has 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. What's more, they contain most of the amino acids your body needs, so their protein is considered to be of higher quality than that of other legumes (7, 8 Trusted Source).
To make roasted chickpeas, drain a can of chickpeas and pat dry. Toss them in olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings of your choice, and bake on a lined baking sheet at 350℉ (180℃) for 40 minutes.
5. Tuna Pouches
Vacuum-sealed tuna pouches are convenient snacks that don't need to be drained and can be stored and eaten at work.
6. Apples and Peanut Butter
Apple slices with natural peanut butter make for a delicious, satisfying snack.
Peanut butter contributes protein and healthy fats, while apples are high in fiber and water, making them particularly filling. In fact, 1 medium apple (182 grams) is over 85% water and has more than 4 grams of fiber (12).
Jerky is a shelf-stable, high-protein snack that can satisfy your hunger during the workday.
One ounce (28 grams) of beef jerky has 8 grams of protein for only 70 calories. What's more, it's rich in iron, an important mineral for maintaining blood health and energy levels (13, 14 Trusted Source).
Look for jerky that is uncured, low in sodium, and made from few ingredients. You can also find turkey, chicken, and salmon jerky if you don't eat red meat.
8. Homemade Granola
Granola keeps well in your desk drawer for a quick snack.
As most store-bought varieties are high in added sugars and contain unhealthy vegetable oils that may increase inflammation in your body, it's best to make your own (15 Trusted Source).
Simply combine rolled oats, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and cashews in a mixture of melted coconut oil and honey, spread the mix out on a lined baking sheet, and bake for about 40 minutes at low heat.
This combination is wholesome, balanced, and rich in complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats. Plus, the soluble fiber in oats may help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health (16 Trusted Source).
9. Greek Yogurt
Plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt is a convenient work snack that's higher in protein than regular yogurt.
A 6-ounce (170-gram) container of plain, low-fat Greek yogurt has 17 grams of protein for only 140 calories. Plus, it's loaded with calcium, a mineral that's important for strong bones and teeth (17, 18 Trusted Source).
To make this treat even more tasty and filling, add healthy fruit and nuts.
Edamame are immature soybeans that can be enjoyed steamed, cooked, or dried.
They're loaded with high-quality, plant-based protein. In fact, studies show that the protein in soy is just as satisfying as beef protein and may aid appetite control and weight loss (19 Trusted Source, 20 Trusted Source).
Popcorn is a nutritious and satisfying snack for work that's high in fiber and low in calories. Two cups (16 grams) of air-popped popcorn provide 62 calories, 12 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and several vitamins and minerals (21).
12. Cottage Cheese and Fruit
Protein-rich cottage cheese and fruit is a healthy snack that's perfect for work. It's low in calories but loaded with nutrients. A 1/2 cup (113 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese has 12 grams of protein and 10% of the DV for calcium for only 80 calories (24).
You can bring pre-portioned servings of cottage cheese to work and top it with a fruit, such as sliced berries, and a healthy fat source like pumpkin seeds.
13. Baked Veggie Chip
Baked or dehydrated veggie chips are a wholesome, shelf-stable snack. However, some store-bought varieties are made with vegetable oils, such as canola or soybean oil, and contain unnecessary additives.
Making your own veggie chips allows you to control the ingredients you use.
Thinly slice sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, zucchini, or radishes and brush them with a small amount of olive oil. Bake on a lined baking sheet at 225℉ (110℃) for approximately 2 hours.
14. Ants on a Log
Ants on a log are a healthy snack made with celery sticks, peanut butter, and raisins. They contain healthy fats, protein, and slow-burning carbs and fiber that can provide a boost of energy for your workday (25, 26, 27).
What's more, celery is mostly water, which makes it particularly filling for a low-calorie food (25).
15. Homemade Energy Balls
Energy balls are typically made from oats, nut butter, a sweetener, and other add-ins like dried fruit and coconut.
To make your own, combine 1 cup (80 grams) of rolled oats with 1/2 cup (128 grams) of peanut butter, 2 tablespoons (14 grams) of ground flax seeds, 1/4 cup (85 grams) of honey, and 1/4 cup (45 grams) of dark chocolate chips.
Roll spoonfuls of the mix into bite-sized balls and enjoy as a treat throughout your workday.
You can find many other energy ball recipes online or in specialized books.
16. Oatmeal Packets
Keeping plain, unsweetened oatmeal packets on hand at work is a great way to stay prepared with healthy snacks.
17. Carrots and Hummus
Hummus is a delicious dip made from chickpeas, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice that goes great with carrots.
Eating foods with beta carotene can help boost immunity and promote optimal vision and eye health (33).
18. Dark-Chocolate-Covered Nuts
Dark-chocolate-covered nuts are a nutritious, sweet treat that you can enjoy at the office.
Plus, nuts contribute protein and healthy fats that can help fill you up (35).
Look for brands that don't contain added sugars and use dark chocolate with at least 50% total cocoa content, as it has more antioxidants than other varieties (34 Trusted Source).
19. Reheatable Egg Muffins
Egg muffins made from beaten eggs, veggies, and cheese are a healthy, on-the-go food.
To make your own egg muffins, combine beaten raw eggs with chopped veggies and shredded cheese. Pour the mixture into greased muffin tins and bake at 375℉ (190℃) for 15–20 minutes.
To reheat an egg muffin at work, place it in the microwave for 60–90 seconds or until it's warmed through.
20. Clementines and Almonds
Clementines and almonds are two healthy foods that you can easily eat at work for a mid-afternoon snack.
21. String Cheese
String cheese is a convenient snack full of beneficial nutrients.
One string cheese (28 grams) has 80 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 15% of the DV for calcium. Eating low-calorie foods that are high in protein can help fill you up, decrease overall calorie intake, and aid weight loss (41, 42 Trusted Source).
22. Spiced Cashews
Spiced cashews make for a highly nutritious snack. They contain heart-healthy fats, as well as vitamins and minerals. What's more, these nuts are rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that are vital for proper eye function (43, 44 Trusted Source).
To make this tasty treat, toss raw cashews in olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and ginger. Spread them on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven at 325℉ (165℃) for 12–15 minutes.
You can also buy spiced cashews in stores and online. Just be sure to select a variety that uses minimal, natural ingredients.
23. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups
Turkey and cheese roll-ups are convenient, high-protein snacks.
Turkey is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B6, a nutrient that's essential for energy production. Plus, cheese is loaded with important nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D (45, 46).
24. Smoked Salmon on Whole-Grain Crackers
Smoked salmon is a highly nutritious snack that's rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids that act as powerful anti-inflammatories and may help reduce your risk of conditions, such as heart disease and depression (11 Trusted Source, 47, 48 Trusted Source).
Pair smoked salmon with 100% whole-grain or brown-rice crackers for a healthy, satisfying work snack.
25. Seaweed Snacks
Seaweed snacks are crispy squares sliced from sheets of seaweed that have been dried and seasoned with salt.
They're low in calories and very high in iodine, a mineral that's critical for thyroid health (49 Trusted Source).
You can buy seaweed snacks locally or online. Look for varieties with few ingredients, such as seaweed, olive oil, and salt.
26. Avocado on Sourdough Toast
Avocado on sourdough toast is a healthy snack that you can make at work. Sourdough is made through a fermentation process and may have similar properties to pre- and probiotics (50 Trusted Source).
Prebiotics are non-digestible fibers that feed your gut bacteria, whereas probiotics are health-promoting gut bacteria. They work together to promote optimal gut health and digestion (51 Trusted Source).
Adding avocado to sourdough toast contributes additional fiber and healthy fats to make a more filling snack.
27. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs are one of the most convenient and nutritious snacks.
In fact, eggs contain a small amount of almost every nutrient that you need. One large egg (50 grams) packs over 6 grams of protein, in addition to iron, calcium, choline, and vitamins A, B6, B12, and D, among other nutrients (36).
28. Brie and Grapes
Brie cheese and grapes are a tasty snack combo that's easy to prep.
Grapes are high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6, while brie is rich in protein, fat, and vitamins A and B12. Eating them together provides a good balance of carbs, proteins, and fats that can help you feel energized and full (52, 53).
29. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a portable and shelf-stable snack that you can keep at your desk.
Just 1/4 cup (30 grams) of pumpkin seeds has 180 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 15% of the DV for iron and 14 grams of filling fat, most of which is from heart-healthy unsaturated fats. They're also particularly high in the immune-boosting mineral zinc (54, 55 Trusted Source, 56 Trusted Source).
To make roasted pumpkin seeds, toss raw seeds in olive oil and sea salt. Lay them out on a lined baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 300℉ (150℃).
30. Frozen Yogurt Bark
Frozen yogurt bark is a refreshing treat made from plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, such as blueberries, that you can store in your work freezer.
To make this tasty treat, mix plain Greek yogurt with blueberries or strawberries and spread it on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes or until it's cold enough to break into pieces.
31. Green Smoothies
Bringing green smoothies to work is an easy way to enjoy a nutritious snack on the go.
You can make them with spinach, frozen bananas, a scoop of nut butter, protein powder, and either plant-based or cow's milk. This provides a good balance of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, making your smoothie a filling treat (26, 59, 60, 61).
32. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is usually made with chia seeds, milk, vanilla, fruit, and a sweetener.
Chia seeds are incredibly nutritious and high in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, iron, and calcium. In fact, 2 tablespoons (35 grams) of chia seeds provide over 16% of the DV for calcium and 32% of the DV for fiber (62).
Some studies in humans suggest that adding chia seeds to your breakfast may help increase feelings of fullness and reduce calorie intake, which may aid weight loss (63 Trusted Source).
To make chia pudding, combine 3 tablespoons (40 grams) of chia seeds with 1 cup (240 ml) of milk in a glass jar. Add sliced fruit, pumpkin seeds, a bit of maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and grab it on your way to work in the morning.
You can buy chia seeds in most supermarkets or online.
33. Homemade Protein Bars
Store-bought protein bars are often loaded with added sugars, though wholesome varieties with limited ingredients are available as well.
If you want complete control over what's in your protein treat, make your own with healthy ingredients like seeds, nuts, nut butters, coconut, and dried fruit.
Add natural sweetness with maple syrup or honey.
You can find countless recipes online and in specialized cookbooks.
The Bottom Line
Having healthy snacks on hand at work is a great way to stay energized and productive.
The wholesome snacks in this list are easy to make, portable, nutritious, and can be stored at your desk or in a work kitchen.
With such tasty options, you can easily stick to a healthy diet at home, at work, and on the go.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
As Biden Embraces More Ambitious Climate Plan, Fossil Fuel Execs Donate to Trump 'With Greater Zeal' Than in 2016
By Jake Johnson
With presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's climate platform becoming increasingly ambitious thanks to nonstop grassroots pressure, fossil fuel executives and lobbyists are pouring money into the coffers of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign in the hopes of keeping an outspoken and dedicated ally of dirty energy in the White House.
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While the nation overall struggles with rising COVID cases, New York State is seeing the opposite. After peaking in March and April and implementing strict shutdowns of businesses, the state has seen its number of positive cases steadily decline as it slowly reopens. From coast-to-coast, Governor Andrew Cuomo's response to the crisis has been hailed as an exemplar of how to handle a public health crisis.
By Gavin Naylor
Sharks elicit outsized fear, even though the risk of a shark bite is infinitesimally small. As a marine biologist and director of the Florida Program for Shark Research, I oversee the International Shark Attack File – a global record of reported shark bites that has been maintained continuously since 1958.
A Big, Diverse Family<p>Not all sharks are the same. Only a dozen or so of the roughly 520 shark species pose any risk to people. Even the three species that account for almost all shark bite fatalities – the <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/carcharodon-carcharias/" target="_blank">white shark</a> (<em>Carcharodon carcharias</em>), <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/galeocerdo-cuvier/" target="_blank">tiger shark</a> (<em>Galeocerdo cuvier</em>) and <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/carcharhinus-leucas/" target="_blank">bull shark</a> (<em>Carcharhinus leucas</em>) – are behaviorally and evolutionarily very different from one another.</p><p>The tiger shark and bull shark are genetically as different from each other as a dog is from a rabbit. And both of these species are about as different from a white shark as a dog is from a kangaroo. The evolutionary lineages leading to the two groups split 170 million years ago, during the age of dinosaurs and before the origin of birds, and <a href="https://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Human-Biology/section/7.2/" target="_blank">110 million years before the origin of primates</a>.</p>
White, tiger and bull sharks are distinct species that diverged genetically tens of millions of years ago. Gavin Naylor / CC BY-ND<p>Yet many people assume all sharks are alike and equally likely to bite humans. Consider the term "shark attack," which is scientifically equivalent to "mammal attack." Nobody would equate dog bites with hamster bites, but this is exactly what we do when it comes to sharks.</p><p>So, when a reporter calls me about a fatality caused by a white shark off Cape Cod and asks my advice for beachgoers in North Carolina, it's essentially like asking, "A man was killed by a dog on Cape Cod. What precautions should people take when dealing with kangaroos in North Carolina?"</p>
Know Your Species<p>Understanding local species' behavior and life habits is one of the best ways to stay safe. For example, almost all shark bites that occur off Cape Cod are by white sharks, which are a large, primarily cold-water species that spend most of their time in isolation feeding on fishes. But they also aggregate near seal colonies that provide a reliable food source at certain times of the year.</p><p>Shark bites in the Carolinas are by warm-water species like bull sharks, tiger sharks and <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/carcharhinus-limbatus/" target="_blank">blacktips</a> (<em>Carcharhinus limbatus</em>). Each species is associated with particular habitats and dietary preferences.</p><p>Blacktips, which we suspect are responsible for most relatively minor bites on humans in the southeastern United States, feed on schooling bait fishes like menhaden. In contrast, bull sharks are equally at home in fresh water and salt water, and are often found near estuaries. Their bites are more severe than those of blacktips, as they are larger, more powerful, bolder and more tenacious. Several fatalities have been ascribed to bull sharks.</p><p>Tiger sharks are also large, and are responsible for a significant fraction of fatalities, particularly off the coast of volcanic islands like Hawaii and Reunion. They are tropical animals that often venture into shallow water frequented by swimmers and surfers.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1cfa1c9590e386ecc9455b4762b87518"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yDqzGOa-adc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span>
Humans Are Not Targets<p>Sharks do not "hunt" humans. Data from the International Shark Attack File compiled over the past 60 years show a tight association between shark bites and the number of people in the water. In other words, shark bites are a simple function of the probability of encountering a shark.</p><p>This underscores the fact that shark bites are almost always cases of mistaken identity. If sharks actively hunted people, there would be many more bites, since humans make very easy targets when they swim in sharks' natural habitats.</p><p>Local conditions can also affect the risk of an attack. Encounters are more likely when sharks venture closer to shore, into areas where people are swimming. They may do this because they are following bait fishes or seals upon which they prey.</p><p>This means we can use environmental variables such as temperature, tide or weather conditions to better predict movement of bait fish toward the shoreline, which in turn will predict the presence of sharks. Over the next few years, the Florida Program for Shark Research will work with colleagues at other universities to monitor onshore and offshore movements of tagged sharks and their association with environmental variables so that we can improve our understanding of what conditions bring sharks close to shore.</p>
More to Know<p>There still is much to learn about sharks, especially the 500 or so species that have never been implicated in a bite on humans. One example is the tiny <a href="https://www.newsweek.com/one-worlds-rarest-sharks-also-one-most-adorable-325280" target="_blank">deep sea pocket shark</a>, which has a strange pouch behind its pectoral fins.</p><p>Only two specimens of this type of shark have ever been caught – one off the coast of Chile 30 years ago, and another more recently in the Gulf of Mexico. We're not sure about the function of the pouch, but suspect it stores luminous fluid that is released to distract would-be predators – much as its close relative, the <a href="https://sharkdevocean.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/second-ever-pocket-shark-discovered-in-gulf-of-mexico/" target="_blank">tail light shark</a>, releases luminous fluid from a gland on its underside near its vent.</p>
<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5783b39d0838d6e410344a852ed0dcc3"><iframe lazy-loadable="true" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UTO5debfmsg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Sharks range in form from the bizarre <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/mitsukurina-owstoni/" target="_blank">goblin shark</a> (<em>Mitsukurina owstoni</em>), most commonly encountered in Japan, to the gentle filter-feeding <a href="https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/rhincodon-typus/" target="_blank">whale shark</a> (<em>Rhincodon typus</em>). Although whale sharks are the largest fishes in the world, we have yet to locate their nursery grounds, which are likely teeming with thousands of <a href="https://www.earthtouchnews.com/oceans/sharks/baby-whale-shark-rescued-from-gillnet-in-india-video/" target="_blank">foot-long pups</a>. Some deepwater sharks are primarily known from submersibles, such as the giant <a href="https://twitter.com/gavinnaylor/status/1146144452681113601" target="_blank">sixgill shark</a>, which feeds mainly on carrion but probably also preys on other animals in the deep sea.</p><p>Sharks seem familiar to almost all of us, but we know precious little about them. Our current understanding of their biology barely scratches the surface. The little we do know suggests they are profoundly different from other vertebrate animals. They've had 400 million years of independent evolution to adapt to their environments, and it's reasonable to expect they may be hiding more than a few tricks up their gills.</p>
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Current efforts to curb an infectious disease show the potential we have for collective action. That action and more will be needed if we want to stem the coming wave of heat-related deaths that will surpass the number of people who die from all infectious diseases, according to a new study, as The Guardian reported.
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By Jenny Morber
Caribbean corals sprout off Texas. Pacific salmon tour the Canadian Arctic. Peruvian lowland birds nest at higher elevations.
Known and anticipated changes in species distribution due to climate change around the world have implications for culture, society ecosystems, governance and climate change. Figure used with permission from Gretta T. Pecl, originally published on 31 Mar 2017 in Science 355(6332).<p>How we define species is critical, because these definitions influence perceptions, policy and management. The U.S. National Invasive Species Council (NISC) defines a biological invasion as "the process by which non-native species breach biogeographical barriers and extend their range" and states that "preventing the introduction of potentially harmful organisms is … the first line of defense." But some say excluding newcomers is myopic.</p><p>"If you were trying to maintain the status quo, so every time a new species comes in, you chuck it out," says Camille Parmesan, director of the French National Centre for Scientific Research, you could gradually "lose so many that that ecosystem will lose its coherence." If climate change is driving native species extinct, she says, "you need to allow new ones coming in to take over those same functions."</p><p>As University of Florida conservation ecologist Brett Scheffers and Pecl warned in a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-019-0526-5" target="_blank">2019 paper in <em>Nature Climate Change</em></a>, "past management of redistributed species … has yielded mixed actions and results." They concluded that "we cannot leave the fate of biodiversity critical to human survival to be randomly persecuted, protected or ignored."</p>
Existing Tools<p>One approach to managing these climate-driven habitat shifts, suggested by University of California, Irvine marine ecologist Piper Wallingford and colleagues in <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-020-0768-2" target="_blank">a recent issue of Nature Climate Change</a>, is for scientists to adapt existing tools like the <a href="https://www.iucn.org/theme/species/our-work/invasive-species/eicat" target="_blank">Environmental Impact Classification of Alien Taxa (EICAT)</a> to assess potential risks associated with moving species. Because range-shifting species pose impacts to communities similar to those of species introduced by humans, the authors argue, new management strategies are unnecessary, and each new arrival can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.</p><p>Karen Lips, a professor of biology at University of Maryland who was not associated with the study, echoes the idea that each case is so varied and nuanced that trying to fit climate shifting species into a single category with broad management goals may be impractical. "Things may be fine today, but add a new mosquito vector or add a new tick or a new disease, and all of a sudden things spiral out of control," she says. "The nuance means that the answer to any particular problem might be pretty different."</p>
In recent years, northern flying squirrels in Canada have found themselves in the company of new neighbors — southern flying squirrels expanding their range as the climate warms. Public Domain / USFW<p>Laura Meyerson, a professor in the Department of Natural Resources Science at the University of Rhode Island says scientists should use existing tools to identify and address invasive species to deal with climate-shifting species. "I would like to operate under the precautionary principle and then reevaluate as things shift. You're sort of shifting one piece in this machinery; as you insert a new species into a system, everything is going to respond," she says. "Will some of the species that are expanding their ranges because of climate change become problematic? Perhaps they might."</p><p>The reality is that some climate-shifting species may be harmful to some conservation or economic goals while being helpful to others. While sport fisherman are excited about red snapper moving down the East Coast of Australia, for example, if they eat juvenile lobsters in Tasmania they could harm this environmentally and economically important crustacean. "At the end of the day … you're going to have to look at whether that range expansion has some sort of impact and presumably be more concerned about the negative impacts," says NISC executive director Stas Burgiel. "Many of the [risk assessment] tools we have are set up to look at negative impact." As a result, positive effects may be deemphasized or overlooked. "So that notion of cost versus benefit … I don't think it has played out in this particular context."</p>
Location, Location, Location<p>In a <a href="https://www-nature-com.ezp3.lib.umn.edu/articles/s41558-020-0770-8" target="_blank">companion paper</a> to Wallingford's, University of Connecticut ecology and evolutionary biology associate professor Mark Urban stressed key differences between invasive species, which are both non-native and harmful, and what he calls "climate tracking species." Whereas invasive species originate from places very unlike the communities they overtake, he says, climate tracking species expand from largely similar environments, seeking to follow preferred conditions as these environments move. For example, an American pika may relocate to a higher mountain elevation, or a marbled salamander might expand its New England range northward to seek cooler temperatures, but these new locations are not drastically different than the places they had called home before.</p><p>Climate tracking species may move faster than their competitors at first, Urban says, but competing species will likely catch up. "Applying perspectives from invasion biology to climate-tracking species … arbitrarily chooses local winners over colonizing losers," he writes.</p>
The marbled salamander, a native of the eastern U.S., is among species whose range could expand northward to accommodate rising temperatures. Seánín Óg / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0<p>Urban stresses that if people prevent range shifts, some climate-tracking species may have nowhere to go. He suggests that humans should even <a href="https://ensia.com/features/time-for-trees-to-pack-their-trunks/" target="_blank">facilitate movement</a> as the planet warms. "The goal in this crazy warming world is to keep everything alive. But it may not be in the same place," Urban says.</p><p>Parmesan echoes Urban, emphasizing it's the distance that makes the difference. "[Invasives] come from a different continent or a different ocean. You're having these enormous trans-global movements and that's what ends up causing the species that's exotic to be invasive," she says. "Things moving around with climate change is a few hundred miles. Invasive species are moving a few thousand miles."</p><p>In 2019 University of Vienna conservation biology associate professor Franz Essl published a similar argument for species classification beyond the native/non-native dichotomy. Essl uses "neonatives" to refer to species that have expanded outside their native areas and established populations because of climate change but not direct human agency. He argues that these species should be considered as native in their new range.</p>
They Never Come Alone<p>Meyerson calls for caution. "I don't think we should be introducing species" into ecosystems, she says. "I mean, they never come alone. They bring all their friends, their microflora, and maybe parasites and things clinging to their roots or their leaves. … It's like bringing some mattress off the street into your house."</p><p>Burgiel warns that labeling can have unintended consequences. We in the invasive species field … focus on non-native species that cause harm," he says. "Some people think that anything that's not native is invasive, which isn't necessarily the case." Because resources are limited and land management and conservation are publicly funded, Burgiel says, it is critical that the public understands how the decisions are being made.</p><p>Piero Genovesi, chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Invasive Species Specialist Group, sees the debate about classification — and therefore about management — as a potential distraction from more pressing conservation issues.</p><p>"The real bulk of conservation is that we want to focus on the narrow proportion of alien species that are really harmful," he says. In Hawaii "we don't discuss species that are there [but aren't] causing any problem because we don't even have the energy for dealing with them all. And I can tell you, no one wants to remove [non-native] cypresses from Tuscany. So, I think that some of the discussions are probably not so real in the work that we do in conservation."</p><p>Indigenous frameworks offer another way to look at species searching for a new home in the face of climate change. According to <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11625-018-0571-4" target="_blank">a study</a> published in Sustainability Science in 2018 by Dartmouth Native American studies and environmental studies associate professor Nicholas Reo, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and Dartmouth anthropology associate professor Laura Ogden, some Anishnaabe people view plants as persons and the arrival of new plants as a natural form of migration, which is not inherently good or bad. They may seek to discover the purpose of new species, at times with animals as their teachers. In their paper Reo and Ogden quote Anishnaabe tribal chairman Aaron Payment as saying, "We are an extension of our natural environment; we're not separate from it."</p>
The Need for Collaboration<p>The successful conservation of Earth's species in a way that keeps biodiversity functional and healthy will likely depend on collaboration. Without global agreements, one can envision scenarios in which countries try to impede high-value species from moving beyond their borders, or newly arriving species are quickly overharvested.</p><p>In Nature Climate Change, Sheffers and Pecl call for a Climate Change Redistribution Treaty that would recognize species redistribution beyond political boundaries and establish governance to deal with it. Treaties already in place, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which regulates trade in wild plants and animals; the Migratory Bird Treaty Act; and the Agreed Measures for the Conservation of Antarctic Fauna and Flora, can help guide these new agreements.</p><p>"We are living through the greatest redistribution of life on Earth for … potentially hundreds of thousands of years, so we definitely need to think about how we want to manage that," Pecl says.</p><p>Genovesi agrees that conservationists need a vision for the future. "What we do is more to be reactive [to known threats]. … It's so simple to say that destroying the Amazon is probably not a good idea that you don't need to think of a step ahead of that." But, he adds, "I don't think we have a real answer in terms of okay, this is a threshold of species, or this is the temporal line where we should aim to." Defining a vision for what success would look like, Genovesi says, "is a question that hasn't been addressed enough by science and by decision makers."</p><p>At the heart of these questions are values. "All of these perceptions around what's good and what's bad, all [are based on] some kind of value system," Pecl says. "As a whole society, we haven't talked about what we value and who gets to say what's of value and what isn't."</p><p>This is especially important when it comes to marginalized voices, and Pecl says she is concerned because she doesn't "think we have enough consideration or representation of Indigenous worldviews." Reo and colleagues <a href="https://cpb-us-e1.wpmucdn.com/sites.dartmouth.edu/dist/9/52/files/2012/10/Reo_etal_AIQ_invasive_species_2017.pdf" target="_blank">wrote in American Indian Quarterly in 2017</a> that climate change literature and media coverage tend to portray native people as vulnerable and without agency. Yet, says Pecl, "The regions of the world where [biodiversity and ecosystems] are either not declining or are declining at a much slower rate are Indigenous controlled" — suggesting that Indigenous people have potentially managed species more effectively in the past, and may be able to manage changing species distributions in a way that could be informative to others working on these issues.</p><p>Meanwhile, researchers such as Lips see species classification as native or other as stemming from a perspective that there is a better environmental time and place to return to. "There is no pristine, there's no way to go back," says Lips. "The entire world is always very dynamic and changing. And I think it's a better idea to consider just simply what is it that we do want, and let's work on that."</p>
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