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Monitoring a changing climate: An overview for State Wildlife Planners Jonathan Mawdsley The Heinz Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Monitoring a changing climate: An overview for State Wildlife Planners Jonathan Mawdsley The Heinz Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Monitoring a changing climate: An overview for State Wildlife Planners Jonathan Mawdsley The Heinz Center

2 Why Monitor Climate Change? Tells you what is happening on the ground Provides data for testing model projections Provides data for additional modeling Provides feedback on effectiveness of your conservation actions Allows course corrections to your management activities

3 Questions Monitoring Can Answer How is the climate actually changing? How is climate change affecting the biophysical environment? How is climate change affecting species and ecosystems? How effective are our climate-change mitigation and adaptation activities?

4 Monitoring Climate Change Elements of a monitoring program: Direct measures of climate change Secondary effects of climate change Ecological effects of climate change Effectiveness monitoring of mitigation and adaptation activities

5 Good News! Many existing monitoring programs Much data already available Synthetic studies of data published – Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change – U. S. Global Change Research Program – National Climate Assessment Translational products available on Web, some even user-friendly!

6 Direct Measures Meteorological measures – Temperature, precipitation, weather events, storm frequency… Records maintained and synthesized by: – National Climatic Data Center (NOAA) – Regional Climate Centers Recommend working with local meteorologists (local university) to obtain and interpret data

7 Secondary Effects of Climate Change Sea Level Rise – NOAA Tides and Currents, Sea Level Rise Viewer Fire frequency, intensity – Forest Service Remote Sensing Applications Center LANDFIRE Floods – USGS Floods and Droughts – FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer Droughts – USGS Floods and Droughts – National Drought Monitor (USDA, NOAA) Extreme Storm Events – National Climatic Data Center

8 Ecological Effects Changes in phenology – USA National Phenology Network, Nature’s Notebook – Extensive literature on phenological shifts Changes in distribution – 2012 analysis of Breeding Bird Survey data – Many reports in literature Changes in population size/extent – Again, Breeding Bird Survey analyses – Increasing number of reports in literature

9 Monitoring Species Different approaches: Identify species that are of interest to management authorities, determine areas of vulnerability, and monitor those Identify species at greatest risk from climate change and monitor changes in those species Depends on the management approach of your department/agency

10 Climate Change and Western Lands Workshops in four states (AZ, NV, UT, WY) Identify conservation targets for management Identify threats, stressors, conservation actions Develop conceptual model Identify key rates, states, processes for monitoring Identify existing monitoring programs that provide relevant data Establish priorities for new data collection

11 Strategic planning effort paralleling State Wildlife Plan Identified focal species of cultural, ecological, economic importance For focal species, identify movement corridors, refugia Manage habitat along corridors to promote connections Judicious translocations to suitable future habitats Monitor habitat, population responses Helping Desert Bighorns Adapt

12 What you monitor depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your management activities Many proposed measures are straightforward: Mitigation: plant trees; measure tree growth and carbon uptake Mitigation: protect forest lands; measure carbon sequestered in forest & not released to atmosphere Adaptation: restore corridors; measure wildlife movements along restored corridors Adaptation: species translocation; measure survival and recruitment at new site(s) Effectiveness Measures

13 Take-home Messages You can incorporate climate monitoring information into your State Wildlife Plan Climate monitoring programs, data already available Many of our existing monitoring programs can yield data about climate change and its effects on wildlife and ecosystems

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