Up to half of the plant and animal species in the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon could be extinct by 2100 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report warns.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and the James Cook University looked at 80,000 species from 35 wildlife-rich areas to see what the impact of a 4.5°C global temperature rise would be.
They found the Miombo Woodlands in southern Africa, south-west Australia and the Amazon were likely to be some of the worst affected areas.
The change in climate could mean 89 percent of amphibians in south-west Australia become locally-extinct, up to 69 percent of species in the Amazon could be lost.
In the Miombo Woodlands up to 90 percent of amphibians, 86 percent of birds and 80 percent of mammals could become extinct.
The weather changes and erratic rainfall would also put pressure on African elephant's water supplies, as they need to drink between 150 and 300 litres of water a day, and sea-level rises could flood 96 percent of the breeding grounds of Sundarbans tigers.
WWF New Zealand CEO Livia Esterhazy said 80 percent of New Zealand's native species lived near or in the ocean, making them particularly vulnerable to warming temperatures and sea-level rise.
"If the average temperature rises to about 21°C the tuatara eggs all become male so there'll be no females to breed with, so they could eventually die-off.
"The reverse would happen with marine turtles where increasing temperatures in the ocean will actually turn marine turtles all female, so there won't be males to breed with," she said.
The study's lead researcher Rachel Warren said if global warming was limited to 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the loss of species in affected areas could be reduced to 25 percent.
"Overall the research shows that the best way to protect against species loss is to keep global temperature rise as low as possible," he said.
Ms Esterhazy said extinctions were already happening as a result of climate change and it was vital they didn't increase.