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A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Shorebird Habitat February 17, 2011 Dorie Stolley, Rhode Island NWR Complex David Brownlie, Monomoy NWR Kevin.

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Presentation on theme: "A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Shorebird Habitat February 17, 2011 Dorie Stolley, Rhode Island NWR Complex David Brownlie, Monomoy NWR Kevin."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Shorebird Habitat February 17, 2011 Dorie Stolley, Rhode Island NWR Complex David Brownlie, Monomoy NWR Kevin Holcomb, Chincoteague NWR

2 Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Monomoy NWR Chincoteague NWR

3 Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge Context

4  “Rookie” Mgr. (01/2010) after leadership turnover  Draft CCP in progress ( )  Some Honeymoon?  WHSRN Vulnerability Assessment 2010 team approach essential for the Rookie Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

5 Monomoy NWR Mashpee NWR Massasoit NWR Assabet River NWR Oxbow NWR Great Meadows NWR Nomans Land Island NWR Nantucket NWR Connecticut River Watershed Eastern Massachusetts NWR Complex WHSRN Assessment Team Facilitator – Dorie Stolley Proj. Ldr. – Libby Herland Supv. Biol. – Steph Koch Ref. Mgr – The Rookie Other Consultants

6 WH S horebird RN Monomoy NWR Shorebird Renown: 30± shorebird spp. – 30± shorebird spp. – Red Knot SB Dowitcher Hudsonian GodwitRed Knot SB Dowitcher Hudsonian Godwit Ruddy TurnstoneWhimbrelDunlinRuddy TurnstoneWhimbrelDunlin SanderlingBB PloverSemipalmated ploverSanderlingBB PloverSemipalmated plover G/L YellowlegsLeast sandpiperSemipalmated sandpiperG/L YellowlegsLeast sandpiperSemipalmated sandpiper (NO, this fire retread still can’t ID them all correctly) Fall migration, concentrates > 30K Fall migration, concentrates > 30K Food (fuel) & Rest stop – a rarity Food (fuel) & Rest stop – a rarity Many spring migrants stop-over Many spring migrants stop-over Some stay and nest Some stay and nest ≥10% of MA’s PIPL nesting≥10% of MA’s PIPL nesting American oystercatcher & WilletAmerican oystercatcher & Willet

7 SAND & WAVE Center Landmass – migrating, persistence?Landmass – migrating, persistence? SLAMMSLAMM Geise, et al (2010)Geise, et al (2010) Energy ReservesEnergy Reserves Fuel (food) – intertidal infaunaFuel (food) – intertidal infauna Rest (disturbance) – People, Pets & PredatorsRest (disturbance) – People, Pets & Predators Waves Always Win! Assessment Preparations -- Waves Always Win!

8 U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service HabitatVulnerability Score Habitat Value (62) (Y-axis) Explanation (Tidal) Marsh Coastal Storm Vulnerability 6.00 BCR major marsh area decline trend (=3 pts) weighting (6X) despite local area increase expected Beach8.5046Precip + Temp Vulnerabilities (8 & 9), But, Coastal Storm Vulnerability 0.00 Dry Upland8.5041Precip + Temp Vulnerabilities (8 & 9), But, Coastal Storm Vulnerability 0.00 Tidal Flat0.0040BCR tidal flat area increase trend (=0 pts) weighting (6X), “trumped” highest relative importance value (8/8) weighting (4X) Note: Results relatively insensitive to Ecosystem Goods/Services Value Scores

9 Monomoy Draft CCP/EIS  3 Alternatives (± 90-95% complete)  6 Main Goals w/ SMART Objectives & Strategies  Monitoring Elements  Key GCC/SLR Strategies  Adaptation -- resilience  Mitigation – reduce carbon footprint  Engagement -- partners

10 (Draft)Preferred Alternative – Strategies for Shorebirds & GCC/SLR 13 Adaptation (Resilience) Strategies13 Adaptation (Resilience) Strategies ? Mitigation Strategies 5 Engagement Strategies Monomoy Draft CCP/EIS

11 Work in Progress The Best is Yet to Come – Work in Progress Internal Service Review Public Review/Comment Final CCP Devil is in the details, CCP only a beginning: Step-Down Plans – More specific/detailed Habitat Mgt. Plan & Annual Habitat Work Plan Wilderness Stewardship Plan Inventory & Monitoring Plan Monomoy Draft CCP/EIS

12 Conclusions: The WHSRN Shorebird Vulnerability Assessment process and team approach: Substantially shortened a Rookie Manager’s “learning curve” Allowed a more rapid and effective engaging with FWS staff & partners during the CCP Alternative formulation phase Positioned for Conservation Delivery addressing GCC/SLR impacts on shorebirds when Monomoy CCP process is complete Guidance for Step-Down plans and future Inventory & Monitoring One model for climate change vulnerability assessment, potentially adaptable to other FWS resources of conservation concern

13 Recommendations: Be considerate of those who follow! Leave successors a roadmap… route and turns where your “team” applied professional judgment to the best available science This WHSRN Assessment roadmap for Monomoy NWR warrants periodic revisiting Consider adapting the WHSRN Assessment model to other refuge resources of conservation concern

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15 Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge Held a two workshops with partners –Site Assessment Tool –Climate Change Engaged partners to collect thought and information to complete the climate change module Used workshop to explain what the refuge is doing, find out what the partners are working on and identify potential participants for various sections of the assessment

16 The Site Assessment Tool (SAT) Review the state of conservation Identify the critical threats at the sites and the conservation actions in need. Assess the effectiveness of site management and conservation efforts. Identify priorities for action, information gaps, monitoring and research needs, outcomes of management and conservation actions.

17 Atlantic Audubon Society Partnerships

18 Outcomes of the Assessment Workshops Engaged partners in Refuge shorebird management –Strengthened existing relationships –Created new partnerships and friendships –Outlined management strategies –Clarified misconceptions (rumors) –Promoted “transparency” –Identified research needs

19 Feedback from Refuges Looking forward to SLAMM 6 runs and more accurate elevation data(LiDAR) Appreciated the input of coastal geomorphologists Need more information on the effects of climate change on invertebrate food base of many shorebirds Request modeling on future shorebird range shifts and what importance their refuge will have in the flyway in the future for different species Used the workshop format as a way to engage partners and pave the way for future collaborations.

20 Public Education and Engagement Incorporated into many of the adaptation options Climate change education is already finding its way into displays, brochures and programs now, and will lead to a better-educated public and better local partners Forsythe is designing new exhibits for visitor center to illustrate climate change research

21 Thank you Dorie Stolley, Rhode Island NWR Complex David Brownlie, Monomoy NWR Kevin Holcomb, Chincoteague NWR


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