This project acquired, federated and curated approximately one million new observations to the Avian Knowledge Network. These new observations, in addition to millions of existing records, were used to model the distribution and abundance of 26 species of land birds in the southern portion of the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) region including CA, OR and WA. The models were based on climate and modeled vegetation.
Using the models, maps were created showing the distribution and abundance of each species for current (late 20th century) conditions and projected the models to future conditions (2070) based on five regional climate models. The bird models were also used to create maps of conservation priorities for all species and for species indicative of four different habitat types: conifer forest, oak woodlands, grasslands and riparian forest. A a web based decision support tool was created (http://www.avianknowledgenorthwest.net/distributionmodels and at http://data.prbo.org/apps/nplcc/) where the results from the project can be viewed, queried and downloaded, including reports of model results for user defined regions.
The tool can be used to support climate change adaptation planning in several ways. The models can be used to assess whether planned projects are likely to meet objectives given projected future changes. Additionally, the models can be used to identify areas of conservation priorities or restoration opportunities which account for a range in plausible future climate conditions. Coupled with regional conservation plans, such as Habitat Conservation for Landbirds in Coniferous Forests of Western Oregon and Washington (http://www.orwapif.org/conservation-plans), models can be used to identify quantifiable habitat objectives for focal bird species.
The models can also be used to develop quantitative scenarios to be used for scenario planning exercises. Project leads anticipate that there may be many further applications of the tool and plan to continue to work with NPLCC stakeholders to ensure that the tool is used to support conservation planning. Results have been presented to the NPLCC steering committee and through a webinar sponsored by the NPLCC (http://bit.ly/YCYUfU). Application of results will be highlighted in real conservation planning efforts through the website to illustrate how the tool and products can be used and to encourage others to use the tool for their projects.
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.