Warming temperatures are causing about half of the world’s plants and animals to move location, an international conference in Australia heard Wednesday, with every major type of species affected.

Camille Parmesan, an expert from Britain’s Plymouth University on how climate change impacts wildlife, said data on thousands of species found that many had shifted their ranges towards the poles or up mountains over the past century. “The global imprint of warming on life is evident in hundreds of scientific studies,” Parmesan told the Species on the Move conference, which is focused on how species are responding to climate change . “While about half of all studied species have changed their distributions in response to recent climate change , we are starting to see negative impacts for the most vulnerable species.” Other changes had been observed such as plants flowering earlier or migratory birds arriving sooner in the year than previously, she added. Parmesan said areas most at risk included sensitive systems such as polar regions dependent on sea ice and mountainous forests. “Recovering these vulnerable species under a changing climate may not always be possible,” she warned. Parmesan said studies showed that about half of species have moved their geographical ranges poleward and/or upward while about two-thirds of species studied have shifted towards earlier spring breeding, migrating, or blooming. Every major group has been impacted including trees, herbs, butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, corals, invertebrates and fish.