Collaboration, science and conservation that spans landscapes and crosses borders are key elements as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service forges a climate response plan, according to Scientific American.
The new plan outlines how the agency charged with protecting plants, fish, wildlife and birds will itself adapt to climate change.
“At a time when there’s a lot of indecision about climate — questions about who should do what, what’s real and what’s not real — the Fish and Wildlife Service is saying, ‘This is real and we’re not going to wait,’” says our own Robert Bendick, director of U.S. Government Relations. “The stakes are too high.”
Predicting how habitats will change in the future will be an important part of the Fish & Wildlife Service’s climate strategy. For example, in the case of migratory birds, changes in climate may force birds to shift where they spend the winter, where they breed in the spring, and how they travel between the two locations. Government and conservation partners must protect not only existing habitats and migration routes, but also the places where the birds are likely to end up.
Whether the new plan will work in practice remains to be seen, but may depend on making critical decisions now — such as protecting large-scale landscapes that provide connections for wildlife to move through, adapt to and ultimately survive a rapidly changing climate.
Post by: Lisa Hayden, climate change writer, The Nature Conservancy
Source: Scientific American
(image: Virginia Coast Reserve, Virginia. A red knot (Calidris canutus) with a satellite transmitter for monitoring migration. The Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is a key stopover site for migratory red knots. Photo credit: © Bary Truitt/TNC)
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