The 10 "flagship species" listed in the report are shown here. In the case of clownfish, aka the Nemos of the underwater world, their coral reef habitats are under severe threat from warmer waters that can bleach, and then kill, coral. Moreover, acidification of sea waters due to higher carbon dioxide levels prevents coral and some other skeletal-based organisms from forming shells.
Flagship for: Impacts of coral reef degradation due to warming seas and increasing ocean acidification
Could Emperor penguins adapt by moving to dry land? Two colonies do live on land and have remained stable over 20 years, the IUCN says, so "potentially" that's doable if they find suitable food inland.
Flagship for: Impacts of rising sea temperatures and melting sea ice
Global warming models also predict more wildfires and longer, more severe droughts in places like Australia. Koalas are vulnerable to both. Koalas do not have great potential for adapting, the IUCN says, "as changes are occuring faster than koalas are likely to have experienced in the past."
Flagship for: Effects of elevated CO2 levels on plants and on the animals that rely on them for food
Moreover, arctic foxes prey largely on lemmings and voles. "Milder and shorter winters are predicted to cause declines in the regularity of these rodents’ population cycles, as well as decreases in their overall numbers," the IUCN says. Because their habitat area is shrinking, the IUCN says, the number of arctic foxes "that can be supported worldwide is likely to decrease."
Flagship for: Disruptive effects on the balance among species
Moreover, insufficient snow early in the breeding season as well as "spring rains or warm spring temperatures can cause the roofs of lairs to prematurely collapse, leaving ringed seals unsheltered and exposed to predators." As for adapting by moving, the IUCN says "their already high-latitude distribution range limits their potential for pole-ward migration."
Flagship for: Impacts of reduced Arctic summer sea ice
As for adapting, the IUCN notes belugas' "resilience has already been compromised by the historical reductions in population sizes and ranges."
Flagship for: Indirect effects of climate worsening existing threats from people
Adaptation for salmon is made harder by existing pollution and habitat pressures.
Flagship for: Climate effects on freshwater ecosystems, and how impacts on wild species can have a direct effect on economies
"‘Mass’ coral bleaching is a new phenomenon dating back to the 1980s," the IUCN says, "and is now the main cause of coral mortality and reef deterioration globally." A third of all coral species are already listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List.
"Adaptation (for corals) is very slow and unlikely to be able to keep up with" with the warming trend, the IUCN adds.
Flagship for: Impacts of rising sea temperatures and increasing ocean acidification
Beach erosion and changing ocean currents are also obstacles. While leatherbacks have adapted to past climate shifts the current warming trend is "believed to be faster than anything leatherbacks and other marine turtle species have encountered previously," the IUCN says.
Flagship for: Impacts of warming temperatures, rising sea levels and changing ocean currents
This shift shows adaptation is possible if warming does not happen too suddenly. But scientists have found new colonies of Quiver trees are slow to develop, raising the question of whether humans should help out by planting seeds. That question reflects "some of the challenges climate change brings to traditional scientific approaches and conservation practices," the IUCN says.
Flagship for: Difficulties that all plants and slow-moving species face in keeping up with rapidly accelerating climate change