A Review of Climate-Change Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife Management and Biodiversity Conservation

Jonathan R. Mawdsley, Robin O'Malley, and Dennis S. Ojima
Posted on: 6/21/2009 - Updated on: 8/21/2023

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The scientific literature contains numerous descriptions of observed and potential effects of global climate change on species and ecosystems. In response to anticipated effects of climate change, conservation organizations and government agencies are developing "adaptation strategies" to facilitate the adjustment of human society and ecological systems to altered climate regimes. We reviewed the literature and climate-change adaptation plans that have been developed in United States, Canada, England, Mexico, and South Africa and found 16 general adaptation strategies that relate directly to the conservation of biological diversity. These strategies can be grouped into four broad categories: land and water protection and management; direct species management; monitoring and planning; and law and policy. Tools for implementing these strategies are similar or identical to those already in use by conservationists worldwide (land and water conservation, ecological restoration, agrienvironment schemes, species translocation, captive propagation, monitoring, natural resource planning, and legislation/regulation). Although our review indicates natural resource managers already have many tools that can be used to address climate-change effects, managers will likely need to apply these tools in novel and innovative ways to meet the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change.


Mawdsley, J.R., O'Malley, R., & Ojima, D.S. (2009). A review of climate-change adaptation strategies for wildlife management and biodiversity conservation. Conservation Biology, 23(5), 1080-1089. Retrieved from CAKE: http://www.cakex.org/virtual-library/1242