Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments of Selected Species in the North Atlantic LCC Region
Numerous studies show that ongoing climate change will have major effects on the distribution and conservation status of much of our biodiversity. Resource managers urgently need a means to identify which species and habitats are most vulnerable to decline in order to direct resources where they will be most effective. To address this need, NatureServe and Heritage Program collaborators have developed a Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to provide a rapid, scientifically defensible assessment of species’ vulnerability to climate change. The CCVI integrates information about exposure to altered climates and species-specific sensitivity factors known to be associated with vulnerability to climate change. This project applied the CCVI to 60 species to be selected in collaboration with state wildlife experts, the Science Technical Review committee of the North Atlantic Coast, and with Manomet. Species selected for assessment represented a) Federal Trust species of high responsibility by the NALCC, b) foundation species for habitats currently being assessed for climate change vulnerability by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and c) Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) as identified by the Regional Conservation Needs program.