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Many animal species have unique characteristics that allow them to survive during winter. For example, the snowshoe hare changes its fur color from brown to white to camouflage better in winter months, and the ruffed grouse roosts under the snow to stay warm and hidden in winter. These winter-adapted species, however, are facing new challenges as climate change is resulting in shorter winters and rapid declines in snowpack. Shorter winters pose a significant threat to winter-adapted species that are used to living in, under, or on top of a protective blanket of snow. Wildlife managers are tasked with conserving these species, yet studies understanding how specific management actions can enhance species' ability...
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Moose are an economically and culturally important species in Minnesota. Like many species, however, moose are experiencing reductions in distribution and abundance across the Midwest as a result of climate change and habitat loss. Moose populations have declined by 60% since 2006, in part because of thermal heat stress in warming summers and increased frequency of contact with white-tailed deer that transmit fatal parasites. Forest managers are looking for actionable strategies to improve moose habitat in the near-term while also planning for future forest conditions in a warming climate. To address this need, this project brings together researchers and managers to examine how climate adaptive forest management...
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Coregonines are a sub-family of freshwater fishes within the well-known Salmonidae family. In the upper midwestern U.S., these fishes have provided a key food source to Native Americans for millennia and immigrants for the last several centuries. Since the mid-20th century, however, their diversity and abundance has declined owing to several anthropogenic stressors including overfishing, declining quality of key habitat (e.g., dams, eutrophication), and negative interactions with invasive species. Managers of inland lakes in Minnesota and of the Great Lakes in Michigan, Ontario, and New York, and several U.S. Tribes have undertaken various efforts to restore coregonines, including cisco (Coregonus artedi). For example,...
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Yellow perch and alewife are ecologically, economically, and culturally important fish species in Lake Michigan whose populations support recreational and commercial fisheries. However, both of these species’ populations have been in decline for over 20 years. This project seeks to understand the factors affecting variability in offspring survival of yellow perch and alewife in Lake Michigan in order to project survival under scenarios of future climate change. Like other fish species, yellow perch and alewives produce huge numbers of small offspring, but most die early in life. Small changes in survival at this early stage can have a strong impact on the number of fish that ultimately contribute to fisheries....
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The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most productive areas for waterfowl in North America and supports an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s duck population. This important habitat is threatened by climate change and continued land-use change. The goal of this research is to establish a framework for assessing future impacts of climate and land-use change on Prairie Pothole wetland ecosystems in Minnesota and Iowa to better assist wetland managers in planning conservation actions. Historically, the southeast portion of the US Prairie Pothole Region in Minnesota and Iowa has faced some of the greatest challenges in wetland conservation. While advances have been made to restore these habitats,...
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Fisheries managers in Midwestern lakes and reservoirs are tasked with balancing multiple management objectives to help maintain healthy fish populations across a landscape of diverse lakes. As part of this, managers monitor fish growth and survival. Growth rates in particular are indicators of population health, and directly influence the effectiveness of regulations designed to protect spawning fish or to promote trophy fishing opportunities. Growth, combined with reproduction and survival, also determines the amount of fish biomass available for harvest, known as population production. Changing water temperatures can influence growth and production of managed fish species in multiple complex ways, increasing the...
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Aquatic invasive species threaten our lakes, streams, and wetlands. These species not only change the biology within the waterbody, but they can change the way we use those waterbodies and the resources they produce. Those changes may have large economic impacts, such as direct management costs and indirect costs to fisheries, tourism and commerce. These species can be small like zebra mussels or large like Asian carp, but one thing they have in common is being difficult to manage and to prevent further spread. To help inform control measures for aquatic invasive species, local, state, and federal natural resource management agencies have been working to develop risk assessments to understand the potential spread...
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Climate change has the potential to change the kinds and numbers of fish and wildlife that are available for recreationists such as hunters, anglers, and birdwatchers. While we have some knowledge about what changes might look like concerning different fish and wildlife species, very little information is known about how anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers might view such changes in the areas where they recreate. We also know very little about such users’ attitudes toward potential management actions and strategies for adapting to potential climate change that affects fish and wildlife. Using web-based social surveys, the research team will gauge public values, attitudes, preferences as it relates to risk perception...
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Many Midwestern lakes are experiencing warming water temperatures as a result of climate change. In general, this change is causing coldwater fish species such as cisco and coolwater species such as walleye to decline. Meanwhile, warmer water species such as largemouth and smallmouth bass are increasing as temperatures warm. However, some fish populations are more vulnerable to these changes than others. This divergence could be the result of interactions between climate and habitat conditions, or as a result of interactions among fish species. For example, walleye responses to warming temperatures could vary depending on the abundance of largemouth bass. The goal of this project is to quantify the responses of...


    map background search result map search result map Fish Habitat Restoration to Promote Adaptation: Resilience of Sport Fish in Lakes of the Upper Midwest Managing and Promoting the Resiliency of Winter-Adapted Species to Climate Change Understanding and Forecasting Potential Recruitment of Lake Michigan Fishes Can Climate Change Mitigation Through Forest Management Save the Moose in Minnesota? Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Change on Fish Growth and Production to Enable Sustainable Management of Diverse Inland Fisheries The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest Evaluating How Changing Climate and Water Clarity Can Affect Restoration of Native Coregonine Fish in Midwestern Lakes Public Acceptance and Preferences for Climate Change Adaptation in the Midwest Can Climate Change Mitigation Through Forest Management Save the Moose in Minnesota? Fish Habitat Restoration to Promote Adaptation: Resilience of Sport Fish in Lakes of the Upper Midwest Managing and Promoting the Resiliency of Winter-Adapted Species to Climate Change Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest Understanding and Forecasting Potential Recruitment of Lake Michigan Fishes Public Acceptance and Preferences for Climate Change Adaptation in the Midwest Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Change on Fish Growth and Production to Enable Sustainable Management of Diverse Inland Fisheries Evaluating How Changing Climate and Water Clarity Can Affect Restoration of Native Coregonine Fish in Midwestern Lakes The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region