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Landscape-scale conservation of threatened and endangered species is often challenged by multiple, sometimes conflicting, land uses. In Hawaiʻi, efforts to conserve native forests have come into conflict with objectives to sustain non-native game mammals, such as feral pigs, goats, and deer, for subsistence and sport hunting. Maintaining stable or increasing game populations represents one of the greatest obstacles to the recovery of Hawaii’s 425 threatened and endangered plant species. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. Meanwhile, other environmental changes, including the spread of invasive grasses and changing precipitation patterns...
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Loko iʻa (Hawaiian fishponds) are an advanced, extensive form of aquaculture found nowhere else in the world. Loko iʻa practices are the result of over a thousand years of intergenerational knowledge, experimentation, and adaptation, and once produced over 2 million pounds of fish per year throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These fishponds provided a consistent and diverse supply of fish when ocean fishing was not possible or did not yield enough supply. In many ways, loko iʻa are foundational to traditional aquaculture in Hawai‘i and have the potential to provide food security that contributes to greater coastal community resilience and economic autonomy. Today, changes in coastal and hydrological processes, including...
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The 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and serivces (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. Systematic literature reviews play an important role in this process. For example, Runting et al. (2017) quantitatively synthesized how journal-published literature considered climate impacts in EGS assessments. Characterizing studies in a similar manner, our work examines assessments published since the November 2014 publication period included in Runting et al. (2017). These comparisons may reveal...
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Road crossings at rivers and streams can create barriers to the movement of migratory fish when they are improperly designed or constructed. Washington State is home to several threatened species of salmon and trout, including bull trout, and recovery plans for these fish include repairing or replacing culverts that currently block their passage. The state is currently looking to replace approximately 1,000 culverts at an estimated cost of $2.45 billion. As engineers re-design these culverts, which typically have a service life of 50-100 years, it will be important to consider how changing climate conditions will impact streams in the region. Climate change is projected to increase peak streamflows, and therefore...
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One of the biggest challenges facing resource managers today is not knowing exactly when, where, or how climate change effects will unfold. To help federal land managers address this need, the North Central CASC has been working with the National Park Service to pioneer an approach for incorporating climate science and scenario planning into NPS planning processes, in particular Resource Stewardship Strategies (RSS). These strategies serve as a long-range planning tool for a national park unit to achieve its desired natural and cultural resource conditions, and are used to guide a park’s full spectrum of resource-specific management plans and day-to-day management activities. To support adaptation planning within...
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Changing climate conditions such as increasing droughts, floods, and wildfires, hotter temperatures, declining snowpacks, and changes in the timing of seasonal events are already having an impact on wildlife and their habitats. In order to make forward-looking management decisions that consider ongoing and future projected changes in climate, managers require access to climate information that can be easily integrated into the planning process. Co-production, a process whereby scientists work closely with managers to identify and fill knowledge gaps, is an effective means of ensuring that science results will be directly useful to managers. Through a multi-phase project, researchers are implementing co-production...
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In the northern Gulf of Mexico, mangrove forests have been expanding their northern range limits in parts of Texas, Louisiana, and north Florida since 1989. In response to warming winter temperatures, mangroves, which are dominant in warmer climates, are expected to continue migrating northward at the expense of salt marshes, which fare better in cooler climates. The ecological implications and timing of mangrove expansion is not well understood, and coastal wetland managers need information and tools that will enable them to identify and forecast the ecological impacts of this shift from salt marsh to mangrove-dominated coastal ecosystems. To address this need, researchers will host workshops and leverage existing...
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Suicide Basin is a glacier-fed lake that branches off Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Since 2011, Suicide Basin has been collecting melt- and rainwater each summer, creating a temporary glacier-dammed lake. Water that accumulates typically gets released through channels that run beneath the glacier. These channels are normally blocked by ice, but if the water pressure gets too high the channel breaks open, rapidly draining the basin in what is known as an “outburst flood”. In past years, these events have led to flooding along Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River in the most heavily populated neighborhood of Juneau. Because of the threats posed to infrastructure in the Mendenhall Valley, it is critical that...
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Haleakalā National Park (HNP) and the surrounding landscape spans many different land cover types, some of which are undergoing vegetation changes that can reduce the amount of water that infiltrates into soil. Decreased soil infiltration can lead to the erosion of terrestrial habitats, increases in the amount of sediment entering aquatic habitats, and flooding of downstream areas as runoff increases after storms. Currently, HNP managers are attempting to control runoff and erosion to avoid loss and damage within park boundaries and parks located downstream. Managers in HNP have expressed a need for information on current and future runoff and erosion risk to help prioritize management within the park and other...
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The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout is New Mexico’s state fish; but habitat loss and non-native trout invasions threaten the persistence of this fish throughout the remaining 12% of its historic range. Stakeholders, including state agencies, federal agencies, Tribal nations, Pueblos, and private groups are particularly concerned about the impact that non-native Brown Trout have on native cutthroat trout. This project will be the first to demonstrate how non-native Brown Trout negatively affect Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout populations. The project has two primary objectives: 1) compare the health and characteristics of native Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in areas both with and without invasive Brown Trout in cold and warm...
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California - one of the nation's most populous states - hosts extensive public lands, crown-jewel national parks, and diverse natural resources. Resource managers in federal, state, tribal, and local agencies face challenges due to environmental changes and extreme events such as severe droughts, heat waves, flood events, massive wildfires, and forest dieback. However, state-of-the-art research that could aid in the management of natural resources facing these challenges is typically slow to be applied, owing to limited time and capacity on the part of both researchers and managers. This project aims to accelerate the application of science to resource management by facilitating the translation and synthesis of...
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Climate change threatens many wildlife species across the Pacific Northwest. As the climate continues to change, wildlife managers are faced with the ever-increasing challenge of allocating scarce resources to conserve at-risk species, and require more information to prioritize sites for conservation. However, climate change will affect species differently in different places. In fact, some places may serve as refuges for wildlife—places where animals can remain or to which they can easily move to escape the worst impacts of climate change. Currently, different datasets exist for identifying these resilient landscapes, known as climate refugia, but they are often not readily useable by wildlife managers. To address...
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Pinyon pine woodlands are among the most widespread and iconic vegetation types in the western United States and support recreation, resource extraction, grazing, and cultural enrichment. However, severe drought conditions have recently caused dramatic mortality of pinyon pines, creating concern about the long-term impact of increasing aridity on the viability of pinyon woodlands. Ecological transformations, or regime shifts, are rapid reorganizations of an ecosystem’s species composition, governing processes, and functions. The goal of this project is to investigate ecological transformation across the Western U.S, characterize the environmental drivers of these changes in vegetation, and apply those insights...
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The sagebrush rangelands of the Great Basin provide crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the pronghorn and the greater sage-grouse. These water-limited, highly-managed ecosystems have already been degraded by wildfires, the expansion of invasive grasses, and livestock grazing, and are expected to experience additional stress as climate and land use conditions change. Effective management of sagebrush ecosystems in the future will require the ability to understand and predict these future changes. To address this need, researchers will identify historical rates and causes of vegetation change in shrubland ecosystems, then use this information to develop potential future climate and land use scenarios...
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The Rio Grande provides drinking water for more than six million people, irrigation water for two million acres of land in the United States and Mexico, and supports riparian ecosystems that are home to endangered species like the ocelot and Rio Grande silvery minnow. Climate variability and anthropogenic activities continue to stress this already limited water resource. This project was developed in response to a request from a group of stakeholders who work in the Basin and represent federal, state and local agencies, private industry, farmers, ranchers, and NGOs. These stakeholders identified the need for a comprehensive data resource that spatially depicts where conservation activities are occurring on the ground....
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The headwaters of the Columbia River Basin in the Northern Rocky Mountains region is widely recognized as a stronghold for native fish, containing some of the last remaining connected cold-water habitats for species such as the threatened bull trout and native westslope cutthroat trout. However, as temperatures rise, non-native invasive fish species could be poised to prosper in the region as conditions start to favor warm-water species over those that require cooler waters to thrive. The spread of invasive fish species has the potential to devastate native fish populations, stream habitats, and the local cultures and economies that depend on healthy aquatic ecosystems – including the region’s multi-billion dollar...
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Arguably the most direct, intense, and long-lasting modification that humans can make to a landscape is converting rural lands to urbanized areas. As human populations grow, the demand for urbanized areas will increase, and scientists can help natural resource managers plan for these changes by creating models that predict potential patterns of future urbanization. The Southeast U.S. is experiencing particularly rapid population growth, as a favorable winter climate has drawn millions to the region from other areas of the country over the past several decades. However, the Southeast is also at risk from the effects of climate change, particularly along its vast coastline, where over a quarter of the region’s population...
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Big sagebrush plant communities are important and widespread in western North America and are crucial for meeting long-term conservation goals for greater sage-grouse and other wildlife of conservation concern. Yet wildfire is increasing in the West, turning biodiverse, shrub-based ecosystems dominated by sagebrush into grasslands containing invasive species such as cheatgrass and less overall plant and animal diversity. These transformations negatively impact people and ecosystems by reducing habitat quality for wildlife and the aesthetic value of the landscape. Understanding how sagebrush communities are already responding and will continue to respond to changes in wildfire, invasive species, and climate is...
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The pine rockland ecosystem is found only in south Florida and the Bahamas and provides important habitat for numerous rare and endemic plants and animals. These include 18 species that are already federally listed as threatened or endangered and four other species petitioned for listing that are scheduled for development of Species Status Assessments (SSAs). Today, south Florida’s pine rockland ecosystem represents less than 3 percent of its original extent. Threats such as saltwater intrusion from hurricanes and sea-level rise pose the greatest risk to the longevity of this ecosystem. For the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make decisions about the potential listing of a species, they must be able to forecast...


map background search result map search result map Big Sagebrush Response to Wildfire and Invasive Grasses in the 21st Century Mapping the Risk of Ecological Transformation Across Pinyon Woodlands and the U.S. West Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Predicting Climate-Induced Expansions of Invasive Fish in the Pacific Northwest: Implications for Climate Adaptation of Native Salmon and Trout Climate Refugia and Resilience Atlas: Identifying Priority Areas for Conserving Species of Concern in a Changing Climate Identifying Historical Drivers of Vegetation Change to Inform Future Management of Federal Lands in the Northern Great Basin Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Improving and Accelerating the Application of Science to Natural Resource Management in California Identifying the Risk of Runoff and Erosion in Hawaiʻi’s National Parks Susceptibility of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout to Displacement by Non-Native Brown Trout and Implications for Future Management Mapping Conservation Management Efforts to Increase Coordination in the Rio Grande Basin Managing Non-native Game Mammals to Reduce Future Conflicts with Native Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i Refining Guidance for Incorporating Climate Science and Scenario Planning into National Park Service Resource Stewardship Strategies Developing Future Habitat Condition Scenarios for Wildlife in the Imperiled Pine Rockland Ecosystem of South Florida Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Improving Scenarios of Future Patterns of Urbanization, Climate Adaptation, and Landscape Change in the Southeast Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand Refining Guidance for Incorporating Climate Science and Scenario Planning into National Park Service Resource Stewardship Strategies Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Identifying Historical Drivers of Vegetation Change to Inform Future Management of Federal Lands in the Northern Great Basin Developing Future Habitat Condition Scenarios for Wildlife in the Imperiled Pine Rockland Ecosystem of South Florida Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Climate Refugia and Resilience Atlas: Identifying Priority Areas for Conserving Species of Concern in a Changing Climate Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Improving and Accelerating the Application of Science to Natural Resource Management in California Susceptibility of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout to Displacement by Non-Native Brown Trout and Implications for Future Management Mapping Conservation Management Efforts to Increase Coordination in the Rio Grande Basin Identifying the Risk of Runoff and Erosion in Hawaiʻi’s National Parks Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Big Sagebrush Response to Wildfire and Invasive Grasses in the 21st Century Improving Scenarios of Future Patterns of Urbanization, Climate Adaptation, and Landscape Change in the Southeast Predicting Climate-Induced Expansions of Invasive Fish in the Pacific Northwest: Implications for Climate Adaptation of Native Salmon and Trout Mapping the Risk of Ecological Transformation Across Pinyon Woodlands and the U.S. West A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand