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Climate Change: SEAFWA Thoughts? Ken Haddad, Executive Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission September 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "Climate Change: SEAFWA Thoughts? Ken Haddad, Executive Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission September 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climate Change: SEAFWA Thoughts? Ken Haddad, Executive Director Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission September 2007

2 Southeast Director Responses Is your agency working on the issue? Most no but monitoring efforts will aid. Is your state government taking steps? Exec Orders, fuel alternatives Director ranking?…low to medium Major Issues: Sea level, weather extremes, migrations, range expansion of southern species, habitat change, exotics expansion, conversion of forest to fuel.

3 Goal: minimize species loss and optimize wildlife value and survival in the face of climate change Need to: –Generate information on the direction and range of climate effects –ID highest value wildlife species and habitat targets –Policy frameworks that are flexible to uncertainties –Plan to mitigate adverse effects –Elicit political, economic and public opinion that allows these responses.

4 Impacts and Vulnerability  Earlier “greening” of vegetation linked to longer thermal growing seasons  Shifts in ranges and composition of algal and plankton populations  Range changes of wildlife populations and vegetation  Alterations in disturbance regimes of forests due to fires and pests

5 Impacts and Vulnerability  Combination of sea-level rise and human impacts contribute to loss of coastal wetlands and mangroves; increased damage from coastal erosion and flooding  Corals vulnerable to thermal stress; have slow adaptive capacity  Altered spatial distribution of some infectious disease vectors

6 Impacts and Vulnerability  Threats to freshwater resources critical to fish and wildlife  Increased invasion/spread of non-native species  Changes in rainfall patterns- erosion, plant communities, quality/quantity of surface and groundwater  Wetland migration or loss  Shift in waterfowl nesting and migration patterns

7 Impacts and Vulnerability  Salt marshes and mangroves losses where constrained by development or sediment deficits  High elevation habitats have no where to go  coldwater fisheries and warming streams and lakes

8 Short Term Solutions  Convert marginal agricultural land into forested land to increase carbon sequestration  Explore long-term impact of crop production for ethanol on wildlife  Conserve woodlands from development

9 Longer Term Solutions (Adaptation)  Most stringent efforts cannot avoid further impacts in next few decades- makes adaptation more important  Need mix of mitigation, adaptation, technical development and research to combine with incentive-based policies and actions at all levels from individual to international  Adaptation measures in land-use planning & infrastructure design  Increase ability to predict biological responses

10 Data Gaps  Lack of geographic balance in data and literature on observed changes  No clear picture of limits to adaptation (highly dependent on species, and geographical factors as well as public opinion, political and financial constraints)

11 Landscape or Habitat-based Focus Large areas needed to allow diversity. Areas of significant north-south extentCorridors that connect affected areas Areas inland of predicted flood zones Migrant transit locations

12 Species Focus Species with limited distribution Species with limited movement/migration capacity Species with known narrow temperature dependencies Species isolated in discontinuous habitats Highly charismatic and popular species Species of high economic value

13 What are we doing now?  Long term monitoring of some species  Planning process include restoration strategies with a wider range of weather conditions  Defining flows for streams, rivers and estuaries  Starting the discussions

14 What are we doing now?  Monitoring of nonnative species  Development of predictive models  Benchmarking to evaluate future climate variability  Legislation/executive orders beginning to generate action

15 What now?  Many species and habitats will adapt  without intervention  Focus on species that will be challenged by climate change  Focus on species whose loss in the southeast would be a significant or complete loss of the species in the world.  Focus on the distribution of habitats that species need

16 The climate change issue is larger than fish and wildlife  Maximize our influence across the whole range of climate change responses  Carefully consider and balance the modification of fish and wildlife regulations to reduce human costs of adaptation to climate change  Communicate the importance of our vision for active management of wildlife in response to climate change  Actively communicate policy objectives and constraints to public, media and legislature 

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