Integrating Climate Change into the State Wildlife Action Plans

Interior Dept., Northeast Climate Science Center

Fish and Wildlife agencies across the United States are currently revising their State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs). These documents are important planning documents over 10 year timescales.  SWAP Coordinators have been challenged to incorporate climate change impacts and species responses as part of their strategic approaches to managing vulnerable fish and wildlife resources. The Northeast Climate Science Center is assisting Northeast and Midwestern States meet this charge by developing a regional synthesis document that provides: 1) Regional and state-specific climate change projections for approximately twenty climate variables (e.g., air temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture, sea level rise). 2) A regional overview of existing climate change vulnerability assessments and our current knowledge of regional species and habitats at greatest risk to climate impacts. 3) A summary of our current knowledge of biological responses to climate impacts with a focus on Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN).  4) A compilation of the range of scale-appropriate adaptation strategies and actions available to natural resource agencies to conserve wildlife and resilient ecosystems over the short and long term.

It is anticipated that SWAP authors can use this synthesis document to guide their writing activities related to climate change. This project is being accomplished with input from SWAP Coordinators, Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and in collaboration with a range of partners including Terwilliger Consulting, the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), and The Nature Conservancy.


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