NatureServe is a non-profit conservation organization whose mission is to provide the scientific basis for effective conservation action. NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs are the leading source for information about rare and endangered species and threatened ecosystems. NatureServe represents an international network of biological inventories-known as natural heritage programs or conservation data centers-operating in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. They collect and manage detailed local information on plants, animals, and ecosystems, as well as develop information products, data management tools, and conservation services to help meet local, national, and global conservation needs. The objective scientific information about species and ecosystems developed by NatureServe is used by all sectors of society-conservation groups, government agencies, corporations, academia, and the public-to make informed decisions about managing our natural resources.
NatureServe is currently collaborating with scientists at the U.S. Forest Service to explore how climate change may affect the nation's wildlife habitats. A number of individual natural heritage programs are becoming directly involved in climate change-related work, as well. These activities include such things as monitoring at-risk species and ecosystems, incorporation of climate change into the design of reserve networks, and assessment of biological impacts from alternative energy developments designed to reduce society's carbon footprint. The NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index can help identify plant and animal species that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
NatureServe coordinated an international network of scientists investigating amphibian declines to help reveal how the extinction of dozens of tropical frog species is related to warming temperatures. That work, published in the prestigious journal 'Nature,' is now one of the most widely cited examples of climate-change induced species extinctions.
NatureServe also published 'Confronting Climate Change - an Organizational Strategy for NatureServe', it's own plan for responding to climate impacts and related goals for the organization itself.
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