The Washington Connected Landscapes Project: Statewide Analysis presented a vision for a connected network of habitats for wildlife in current condition. This climate-gradient corridor analysis and report adds a climate change lens to that assessment, by identifying corridors intended to improve the ability of wildlife and their habitats to respond to future changes in climate.
A key means by which wildlife respond to climate change is to adjust their geographic ranges to track shifting areas of climatic suitability. This ability to move as conditions change will become even more critical over the coming century as climate change becomes more severe. And yet, species will increasingly encounter human-made barriers to movement as they traverse fragmented landscapes. Increasing connectivity has thus become the most frequently recommended strategy for reducing the negative effects of climate change on biodiversity.
This concise report aims to provide an introduction to climate-gradient corridor models, which identify areas intended to facilitate climate-driven range shifts for wildlife; highlight broad scale patterns and insights revealed by the analysis; discuss important caveats and limitations associated with the results; and suggest how these map products might be appropriately implemented and improved upon by future analysis. A more detailed overview of the methodology is available in Nunez (2011) and Nunez et al. (2013), available below.
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