A Review of Climate-Change Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation

Author(s): Jonathan R. Wawdsley, Robin O'Malley, Dennis S. Ojima

Source: Conservation Biology. 23(5): 1080–1089. | Type: Review | Year: 2009

The scientific literature contains numerous descriptions of observed and potential effects of global climate change on species and ecosystems. In response to anticipated effects of climate change, conservation organizations and government agencies are developing “adaptation strategies” to facilitate the adjustment of human society and ecological systems to altered climate regimes. We reviewed the literature and climatechange adaptation plans that have been developed in United States, Canada, England, M´exico, and South Africa and found 16 general adaptation strategies that relate directly to the conservation of biological diversity. These strategies can be grouped into four broad categories: land and water protection and management; direct species management; monitoring and planning; and law and policy. Tools for implementing these strategies are similar or identical to those already in use by conservationists worldwide (land and water conservation, ecological restoration, agrienvironment schemes, species translocation, captive propagation, monitoring, natural resource planning, and legislation/regulation). Although our review indicates natural resource managers already have many tools that can be used to address climate-change effects, managers will likely need to apply these tools in novel and innovative ways to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change.

A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers Chapter 5 – Adaptation Strategy

Author(s): National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Source: NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. | Type: book | Year: 2010

Upon completion of the vulnerability assessment, the planning team should know where it wants to direct preliminary adaptation efforts. The adaptation strategy consists of establishing goals and identifying and prioritizing actions that can help meet them. These goals and actions may change over time based on new scientific findings, improved vulnerability assessments, observed climate change impacts and consequences, and implementation successes and failures. As is discussed further in Chapter 6, goals and actions will need to be revisited and revised over time

A framework to diagnose barriers to climate change adaptation

Author(s): Susanne C. Mosera, Julia A. Ekstrom

Source: PNAS. 107(51): 22026–22031. | Type: Report | Year: 2010

This article presents a systematic framework to identify barriers that may impede the process of adaptation to climate change. The framework targets the process of planned adaptation and focuses on potentially challenging but malleable barriers. Three key sets of components create the architecture for the framework. First, a staged depiction of an idealized, rational approach to adaptation decision-making makes up the process component. Second, a set of interconnected structural elements includes the actors, the larger context in which they function (e.g., governance), and the object on which they act (the system of concern that is exposed to climate change). At each of these stages, we ask (i) what could impede the adaptation process and (ii) how do the actors, context, and system of concern contribute to the barrier. To facilitate the identification of barriers, we provide a series of diagnostic questions. Third, the framework is completed by a simple matrix to help locate points of intervention to overcome a given barrier. It provides a systematic starting point for answering critical questions about how to support climate change adaptation at all levels of decision-making.

Adapting landscapes to climate change: examples of climate-proof ecosystem networks and priority adaptation zones

Author(s): Claire C. Vos, Pam Berry, Paul Opdam, Hans Baveco, Bianca Nijhof, Jesse O’Hanley, Claire Bell, H. Kuipers

Source: Journal of Applied Ecology. 45:1722–1731 | Type: Article | Year: 2008

1. Climate change has been inducing range shifts for many species as they follow their suitable
climate space and further shifts are projected. Whether species will be able to colonize regions where
climate conditions become suitable, so-called ‘new climate space’, depends on species traits and
habitat fragmentation.
2. By combining bioclimate envelope models with dispersal models, we identified areas where the
spatial cohesion of the ecosystem pattern is expected to be insufficient to allow colonization of new
climate space.
3. For each of three ecosystem types, three species were selected that showed a shift in suitable
climate space and differed in habitat fragmentation sensitivity.
4. For the 2020 and 2050 time slices, the amount of climatically suitable habitat in northwest
Europe diminished for all studied species. Additionally, significant portions of new suitable habitat
could not be colonized because of isolation. Together, this will result in a decline in the amount of
suitable habitat protected in Natura 2000 sites.
5. We develop several adaptation strategies to combat this problem: (i) link isolated habitat that is
within a new suitable climate zone to the nearest climate-proof network; (ii) increase colonizing
capacity in the overlap zone, the part of a network that remains suitable in successive time frames;
(iii) optimize sustainable networks in climate refugia, the part of a species’ range where the climate
remains stable.
6. Synthesis and applications. Following the method described in this study, we can identify those
sites across Europe where ecosystem patterns are not cohesive enough to accommodate species’
responses to climate change. The best locations for climate corridors where improving connectivity
is most urgent and potential gain is highest can then be pinpointed.

The Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) Framework: A Tool for Incorporating Climate Change into Natural Resource Management

Author(s): Molly S. Cross, Erika S. Zavaleta, Dominique Bachelet, Marjorie L. Brooks, Carolyn A. F. Enquist, Erica Fleishman, Lisa J. Graumlich, Craig R. Groves, Lee Hannah, Lara Hansen, Greg Hayward, Marni Koopman, Joshua J. Lawler, Jay Malcolm, John Nordgren, Brian Petersen, Erika L. Rowland, Daniel Scott, Sarah L. Shafer, M. Rebecca Shaw, Gary M. Tabor

Source: Environmental Management. 50(3): 341. | Type: Tool / Framework | Year: 2012

As natural resource management agencies and conservation organizations seek guidance on responding to climate change, myriad potential actions and strategies have been proposed for increasing the long-term viability of some attributes of natural systems. Managers need practical tools for selecting among these actions and strategies to develop a tailored management approach for specific targets at a given location. We developed and present one such tool, the participatory Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) framework, which considers the effects of climate change in the development of management actions for particular species, ecosystems and ecological functions. Our framework is based on the premise that effective adaptation of management to climate change can rely on local knowledge of an ecosystem and does not necessarily require detailed projections of climate change or its effects. We illustrate the ACT framework by applying it to an ecological function in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, USA)-water flows in the upper Yellowstone River. We suggest that the ACT framework is a practical tool for initiating adaptation planning, and for generating and communicating specific management interventions given an increasingly altered, yet uncertain, climate.

Test – Climate Adaptation: Mainstreaming in existing Conservation Plans

Author(s): John Morrison

Source: WWF | Type: Manual / Guide, Video | Year: 2011

Many local governments have already begun working on decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Recently, a growing number have begun examining ways to adapt to climate change – the act of reducing climate change impacts that are already underway. This Guidebook is intended to help those who are looking for ways to reduce the impacts of climate change (increasing heat waves, water shortages, intense storms and sea-level rise) while decreasing GHG emissions and ensuring sustainable development for their communities.

Canadian Communities Guidebook for Adaptation to Climate Change

Author(s): Livia Bizikova, Tina Neale, Ian Burton

Source: Environment Canada, University of British Columbia,Vancouver | Type: Manual / Guide | Year: 2008

California Adaptation Planning Guide

Author(s): California Emergency Management Agency, California Natural Resources Agency

Type: Manual / Guide | Year: 2012

Climate change is already affecting California and is projected to continue to do so well into the foreseeable future. Current and projected climate changes include increased temperatures, sea level rise (SLR), a reduced winter snowpack, altered precipitation patterns, and more frequent storm events. These changes have the potential for a wide variety of impacts such as altered agricultural productivity, wildfire risk, water supply, public health, public safety, ecosystem function, and economic continuity.

The Butterfly Effect: Conservation Easements, Climate Change, and Invasive Species

Author(s): James L. Olmsted

Type: Article | Year: 2011

This Article explains that one of the consequences of climate change will be migrations of species from their native habitats to newer habitats, typically to the north, with climates similar to those in which such species evolved. These in-migrating species will in many cases be invasive, forcing the native species to out-migrate or be driven to extinction, thereby causing biodiversity loss. As many of these disrupted ecosystems may be protected by perpetual conservation easements, the Article discusses the negative legal consequences of incursions by non-native species on these existing conservation easements. Accordingly, the Article suggests a number of changes that can be made to future conservation easements to help insure their protection of land in perpetuity and to better protect species and their habitats from the effects of climate change-caused migrations.

Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change

Author(s): Carla M. Sgrò, Andrew J. Lowe, Ary A. Hoffmann

Type: Article | Year: 2010

Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation.