Planning for Adaptation to Climate Change: Lessons from the US National Wildlife Refuge System
Co-authored with Alexei Babko, Michael Kennedy, Lei Liu, Michelle Robinson, and Susan Wambugu. 64 BioScience 993 (2014); doi: 10.1093/biosci/biu160
Posted: 6 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2014
US national wildlife refuges have recent, detailed management plans illustrating the state of planning for climate-change adaptation in protected areas. Discussion of and prescriptions for addressing climate change increased in refuge plans between 2005 and 2010 but decreased in 2011. The plans respond to some climate-change impacts on biodiversity and call for monitoring but with little clarity regarding how to act on monitoring results and scant attention to future changes in phenology and community composition. The threats posed by sea-level rise generated the best-developed plan prescriptions. Examples of excellent prescriptions provide models for future planning. Some decision-support tools, such as vulnerability assessments, will improve future planning as they become more available. However, research better targeted at management information gaps is also needed. Region-level coordination, such as through landscape conservation design, offers opportunities for enlarging conservation footprints and improving information generation and sharing.
Keywords: adaptation, conservation, protected areas, biodiversity, climate change
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