Climate Change and Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife Reports

In April 2010, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) and Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences published a series of three reports that address the impact of climate change on ecosystems and species. Funded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Doris Duke Foundation, the objective was to make "climate-smart" the State's existing State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). The SWAP provides a roadmap for the conservation of wildlife and habitat in the state, including 22 critical habitat types and 257 priority animals in need of conservation action. The Climate Change and Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife reports address the main adaptation issues facing planners and conservation managers in the state and are designed to be supplementary materials to the existing SWAP.

MassWildlife, with support from the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and The Nature Conservancy, conducted a Habitat Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) for adaptation planning in the state.  An expert panel was convened to rank the vulnerabilities of twenty key habitat types to climate change, which included forested, wetland, coastal, and aquatic habitats. Volume 2, "Habitat and Species Vulnerability," reports the results of the HVA. MassWildlife is using these results to create and implement climate-smart adaptation strategies in management, acquisition, research, and monitoring activities.

Adaptation options are incorporated into Volume 3, Habitat Management, which discusses how ecological resources might be effectively managed as climatic conditions continue to change. The report is clear to indicate that the adaptation options presented do not represent "a site or habitat adaptation plan, though the development of such plans is much needed." 

Publication Date: April 2010

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