Fish and wildlife provide many important ecosystem and cultural services that support people, communities, and economies across the nation. Many observed changes in the global climate are already impacting the nation’s valuable natural resources. These impacts are expected to increase with continued changes in the climate system, putting our nation’s fish and wildlife at risk. State fish and wildlife agencies are at the forefront of addressing these risks but would greatly benefit from leveraging the expertise and resources of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and federal partners.
This project will identify and meet specific needs of the nation’s state fish and wildlife agencies as they address climate impacts on natural resources. This project will help to identify what adaptation strategies are working best and what gaps in knowledge still remain. Specifically, this project will 1) conduct regional workshops with Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) researchers and state fish and wildlife agency managers to assess knowledge gaps and research needs; 2) evaluate the findings of a state climate adaptation survey on issues of greatest concern; 3) develop a website and habitat connectivity toolkit to deliver resources on climate adaptation to a common platform for state practitioners; 4) prepare summary findings regarding the effectiveness of climate adaptation science for managing fish and wildlife across state lands; and 5) update the voluntary guidance for incorporating climate adaptation into State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) which helps state agencies in planning for the recovery of Species of Greatest Conservation Need.
Through this project, partners will be better equipped to understand and address the needs, priorities, and knowledge gaps that remain. In doing so, state agency resource managers will increase their effectiveness in meeting the challenges of safeguarding the nation’s fish and wildlife resources in a changing climate.
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“Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; Credit: Hillebrand/USFWS”