The Butterfly Effect: Conservation Easements, Climate Change, and Invasive Species
36 Pages Posted: 27 May 2010 Last revised: 30 Nov 2013
Date Written: 2011
This Article explains that one of the consequences of climate change will be migrations of species from their native habitats to newer habitats, typically to the north, with climates similar to those in which such species evolved. These in-migrating species will in many cases be invasive, forcing the native species to out-migrate or be driven to extinction, thereby causing biodiversity loss. As many of these disrupted ecosystems may be protected by perpetual conservation easements, the Article discusses the negative legal consequences of incursions by non-native species on these existing conservation easements. Accordingly, the Article suggests a number of changes that can be made to future conservation easements to help insure their protection of land in perpetuity and to better protect species and their habitats from the effects of climate change-caused migrations.
Keywords: climate change, invasive species, conservation easements
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