Conservation in a Changing Climate
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Archived Updates

May 2015
March 2015
January 2015
October 2014
September 2014
July 2014
May 2014

March 2014
January 2014


Tools and Resources

NCTC climate change resources: NCTC is consolidating climate change related training opportunities for FWS staff. The NCTC Climate Change Resource Library also provides selected citations to journal articles, documents, reports, and websites.

Updated digital maps are now available that show changes to Coastal Barrier Resource System in five states.

New Interactive Mapping Tool: The Service recently announced the completion of the National Wetlands Database and interactive mapping tool, that integrates digital map data with other resource information to produce timely and relevant management and decision support tools.

USGS National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV): This Viewer includes the historical and future climate projections from 30 downscaled models for two of the recent emission scenarios used by the IPCC.



Climate Change Update

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update newsletter allows our staff to share success stories, identify key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.

The National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service are working together to develop this newsletter, and we welcome your input. Please contact Kate Freund to help provide content for future editions. You can explore past issues through the links at left.

July 2015 Issue

Sharing Information on Resources At Risk

The Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability

Climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) can provide insights on resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change, and are important tools to inform climate change adaptation planning. 

A new online registry for climate change vulnerability assessments (called CRAVe) will help provide access to data and knowledge gathered by CCVAs from around the nation. Users may search for CCVAs of places, species, ecosystems or other resources by geographic area, species, ecosystem, sponsoring agency, and multiple other factors, and may enter data on new assessments not in the registry. CRAVe was developed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and EcoAdapt.

We need your help! CRAVe will only be successful to the extent that agencies such as the Service enter information on CCVAs that they have conducted, funded, or sponsored. Learn more about how to enter information about planned, ongoing, or completed CCVAs here, or to learn more contact Kurt Johnson

Climate Stories Made Visible

Video site highlights changes and adaptation work in NC

Climate Stories NC is a project of UNC-Chapel Hill's Institute of the Environment that presents compelling and personal stories of North Carolinians who depend on the outdoors for a living. This spring, Project Leader Mike Bryant of the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex was featured, describing some of the recent changes to the ecosystems and lands he manages. 

The video highlights impacts already occurring, including shifts toward salt tolerant vegetation, loss of specialist species, and the general shift from forest to marsh habitat. Mike describes how the Refuge is working with partners to implement projects to better understand what is happening to the land from climate change, maintain viable and healthy systems, and mitigate impacts. 

Currently the effort focuses on North Carolina, but will ultimately expand to other states -- contact Climate Stories NC to share examples about how climate change has affected you or the resources you manage.

A Shared Vision for the South Atlantic

Implications for climate change actions

The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative(LCC) just released Version 2.0 of the Conservation Blueprint on June 12. The Blueprint is a living spatial plan -- a shared vision for the future of the South Atlantic. Blueprint 2.0 updates the previous (2014) version by using indicators for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments to produce a data-driven prioritization at a finer resolution. It also explicitly models the threats of sea level rise and urbanization. TheConservation Blueprint identifies priority areas for shared action, and a connectivity analysis further identifies corridors linking large patches of highest priority areas. 

Partners have already used the Blueprint to attract national fire resilience funding to the region, compete for coastal wetlands protection and climate-smart wildlife management grants, provide landscape-scale context for public lands planning, and prioritize fish passage efforts. Others are working to incorporate the Blueprint into local land acquisition criteria, ecosystem-based fishery management, and bobwhite quail habitat restoration. To learn more contact Hilary Morris.  

Polar Bears in a Changing Climate

Draft plan draws attention to threats from climate change

The Service released the Draft Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan (CMP) on July 2 for public comment. The draft was developed by a team including Service staff as well as stakeholders from public, private and nonprofit sectors, including representatives of Alaska native communities. The polar bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008, due to loss of its sea ice habitat as a result of Arctic warming.

The draft CMP calls attention to the threat climate change poses to polar bears, highlighting a recent analysis by USGS scientists that loss of sea-ice is projected to lead to decreased  populations in three of the four polar bear "ecoregions" by 2050. Outcomes for polar bear populations are projected to worsen over time under both possible greenhouse gas emission scenarios that were analyzed.

The draft calls for an effective public communications strategy about the urgent need to reduce emissions and address Arctic warming, and the consequences to polar bears of failing to do so. It also outlines actions to better manage subsistence harvest, minimize risks of contamination, protect denning habitat, deter human-bear conflicts and conduct research.

Coordinating Regional Support:

LCCs, CSCs, RISAs, Climate Hubs working together

Climate change risks are not limited to a single region or scale. The recent National Adaptation Forum in May of 2015 created an opportunity to highlight how several key regional collaborative efforts, including the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), Climate Science Centers (CSCs), Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) teams, and USDA Regional Climate Hubs work together both formally and informally to meet information needs of decision makers and managers.

Where are these partnerships working?

For more information, contact Ben Thatcher.

Climate Change in the News:

Pope Francis highlights serious consequences from climate change

Pope Francis released a broad new encyclical on the environment on June 18, writing that "climate change is a global problem with grave implications," and noting "this century may well witness extraordinary climate change and an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequences for all of us."

New Resources and Announcements:

Reducing Emissions:

Implementing E.O. 13693

In June, the White House Council on Environmental Quality issued instructions clarifying responsibilities for agencies regarding reducing greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time fostering innovation, reducing spending, and strengthening local communities.

USGCRP Annual Report:

Our Changing Planet

The FY 2016 edition of USGCRP's annual report summarizes the Program's significant advancements toward achieving its scientific goals, delivering on its Congressional mandate, supporting the President's Climate Action Plan, and building a knowledge base that effectively informs human responses to global change.

Federal Response: 

Comparison of Agency Adaptation Plans 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released a report comparing the 2014 Agency Adaptation Plans submitted to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This includes the DOI Adaptation Plan, which covers activities of the Service. 

New Report Released: 

Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Parks

A new National Park Service report examines risk to coastal assets from climate change, estimating the exposure of park assets to one meter of sea level rise. Even a minor increase in sea level will have significant effects on coastal hazards, natural resources and public assets like national parks and wildlife refuges.

About this newsletter

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Climate Change Update newsletter allows our staff to share success stories, identify key resources, and stay up-to-date about our agency's climate change response.

Provide Content

The National Climate Team and scientists from across the Service are working together to develop this newsletter, and we welcome your input. Please contact Kate Freund to help provide content for future editions.  

Explore Past Issues 

Past issues of this newsletter are available on the Service's climate change webpage.

Get Additional Help

Do you know who to contact regarding climate change issues? The Service's National Climate Team helps to coordinate the agency's climate change response and serves as a technical resource regarding climate change science and policy. 


Last updated: August 18, 2015

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