Connectivity & Climate Change Toolkit, 2021

Climate Adaptation Committee of the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies
Created: 12/23/2021 -

Published On

Abstract

Landscape connectivity is a critical component of ensuring healthy ecosystems, and in recent decades has become a popular conservation tool. In light of climate change, connectivity is recognized for its potential to provide additional benefits for resiliency and adaptation strategies for fish and wildlife. However, to maximize these benefits necessitates managers consider climate change impacts and adaptation strategies fully.

This toolkit was developed for the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Climate Adaptation Committee at their request. The purpose is to provide state fish and wildlife agency planners and managers with the information necessary to ensure climate considerations are being accounted for and incorporated in the planning and implementation of terrestrial and aquatic connectivity initiatives. The toolkit is structured as a gateway to provide users with information, tools, and resources critical to understanding and deploying such climate adaptation strategies related to landscape connectivity. Unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all approach works for these kinds of initiatives, and so the goal of the toolkit is to provide users with a variety of considerations and resources to identify their needs.

Throughout the sections, users will find Key Resources which provide links and brief annotations that will direct to websites, tools, journal publications, and other resources for more information. Sections may also contain Case Studies which will take the user to websites or reports that provide a deeper dive into on-the-ground examples. In addition, many sections also contain Key Strategies which identify broad management strategies that can be implemented to more fully incorporate climate change considerations into connectivity initiatives. All the sections begin with general background information and the subsequent lists are designed to help managers quickly find detailed information as they need it.

The toolkit provides information on landscape connectivity and its connection with climate change. It details how climate related changes may impact connectivity which are important considerations when planning a project or initiative. There is a section on project planning and how to ensure that a conservation action is a climate-smart conservation action. Finally, the toolkit provides strategies that can employed for actions related to protection, restoration and management, outreach and education, and monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, it provides some high-level considerations and strategies for various ecosystems.

Purpose of toolkit

The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Climate Adaptation Committee charged a small working group in September of 2019 to develop a toolkit focused on climate-informed landscape connectivity. The purpose is to provide state fish and wildlife agency planners and managers with the information necessary to ensure climate considerations are being accounted for and incorporated in the planning and implementation of terrestrial and aquatic connectivity initiatives.

How to use this toolkit

This toolkit is structured as a gateway to provide users with information, tools, and resources critical to understanding and deploying such climate adaptation strategies related to landscape connectivity. Unfortunately, no one-size-fits-all approach works for these kinds of initiatives, and so the goal of the toolkit is to provide users with a variety of considerations and resources to identify their needs. Users are encouraged to use the table of contents to help identify the sections most relevant to their conservation goals. However, users can also read through the entire toolkit as each section builds upon the next for a more comprehensive overview of climate change and landscape connectivity considerations.

Throughout the sections, users will find key resources which provide links and brief annotations that will direct to websites, tools, journal publications, and other resources for more information. Sections may also contain case studies, which will take the user to websites or reports that provide a deeper dive into on-the-ground examples. In addition, many sections also contain Key Strategies which identify broad management strategies that can be implemented to more fully incorporate climate change considerations into connectivity initiatives. All the sections begin with general background information and the subsequent lists are designed to help managers quickly find detailed information as they need it.

Document Citation

Connectivity & Climate Change Toolkit. 2021. Prepared for the Climate Adaptation Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.