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Climate change vulnerability and adpatation strategies for natural communities: pioloting methods in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts




Comer, Patrick, speaker
Morisette, Jeffrey, moderator
International Wildlife Ranching Symposium, producer

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Land managers need a better understanding of factors that contribute to climate change (CC) vulnerability of the natural resources they manage in order to formulate adaptation strategies. They also need more opportunities to collaborate with neighboring managers and stakeholders to develop common adaptation strategies. Analysis of natural communities shared across land ownerships provides one mechanism for this collaboration. NatureServe worked with public and private partners in the U.S. and Mexico to conduct CC vulnerability assessments of major upland and aquatic community types in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. This project piloted a new Habitat Climate Change Vulnerability Index (HCCVI), drawing on data from other research efforts. The HCCVI aims to implement a series of measures addressing climate change exposure and ecological resilience for each community type for its distribution within a given ecoregion. The combined relative scores for exposure and resilience determine the categorical estimate of climate change vulnerability by the year 2060 (i.e., 50 years into the future) for a community type. While the overall index score should be useful for regional and national priority-setting and reporting, the results of these individual analyses also provide insight for local managers for climate change adaptation. In this pilot effort, field specialists were gathered in a workshop setting to refine the assessments, clarify their thinking on CC scenarios and stressors, and document potential strategies along a continuum from immediate 'no regrets' actions to 'anticipated' or 'wait and watch' actions to monitor. By focusing on major natural community types, pragmatic strategies were identified.


Moderator: Jeffrey Morisette.
Presented at the 8th international congress for wildlife and livelihoods on private and communal lands: livestock, tourism, and spirit, that was held on September 7-12, 2014 in Estes Park, Colorado.
September 2012.

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Wildlife management -- Congresses
Range management -- Congresses


Associated Publications