FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Researchers say a giant yucca known for its distinctive shape could disappear from 90 percent of its current range by the end of the century.
Joshua trees are found in the desert grasslands of the Mojave Desert in Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.
In a new study, U.S. Geological Survey researchers say that climate change in the Southwest could restrict the yucca to the northernmost portion of its habitat in 60 to 90 years.
The researchers say the tree will have a hard time finding a more suitable climate because the rodents that carry its seeds don't travel as far as the large mammals that once dispersed them.
The research team used climate models, fossil records and a climate tolerance analyses to project the future distribution of the yuccas.