Climate Change and Potential Impacts to Wildlife in Tennessee: An Update to Tennessee's State Wildlife Action Plan

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
Created: 11/30/2009 -


From the Executive Summary:

The focus of this document centered on identifying the potential impacts, both positive and negative, to wildlife and their habitats that a changing climate will cause. This was accomplished by conducting a literature review of pertinent climatological and biological research papers and reports; then where possible relating those findings to the habitats and faunal groups of Tennessee.

In order to depict possible future conditions, various results of several models were described. The climate models discussed and the results shown are for example and discussion only. This document does not state or imply the validity of one model over another or one future condition over another.
Modeling climate change is a very complicated process. Climate models used today simulate the interactions of the atmosphere, oceans, land, and sea ice. Various models handle these components and their interactions differently, thus producing different results. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was created by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environmental Program to provide policymakers with an objective source of information on climate change impacts and adaptation and/or mitigation strategies. This latest IPCC report, issued in 2007, states “warming of the climate system is unequivocal”. The report also sites observational data of natural systems that are already being affected by regional
climate changes, especially temperature increases.

The potential impacts discussed below are based on assumptions that Tennessee’s climate will warm over the remainder of the 21st century and precipitation may increase or decrease.

Published On


State / Provincial
Sector Addressed
Water Resources
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy
Natural Resource Management / Conservation
Enhance migration corridors and other connectivity measures
Create new refugia / Increase size and amount of protected areas
Capacity Building
Conduct vulnerability assessments and studies
Monitor climate change impacts and adaptation efficacy
Governance and Policy
Develop / implement adaptation plans
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Culture / communities
Diseases or parasites
Range shifts
Species of concern
Southeast & Caribbean