Climate Change Adaptation: New Perspectives for Natural Resource Management and Conservation (WEC318/UW363)

Differing rates of temperature change at different latitudes may lead to loss of synchronization between migratory species and their prey bases. For example, sooty terns arrive earlier each year to nesting grounds in the Dry Tortugas.Climate change is creating new challenges for conservation and management of natural resources. As temperatures, rainfall patterns, and disturbance regimes change and sea levels rise, ecosystems are being transformed. With climate change species and communities may move out of the fixed systems in reserves that were established to protect them, and may not have the needed migration corridors to successfully disperse. The rate at which climate is projected to change in coming decades is likely too fast for many species to genetically adapt or to migrate to new suitable areas. Climate change underscores the need to transform our view of the natural world. While many of our conservation tools and approaches will stay the same, a new perspective will enable us to better apply these tools to meet future challenges. This 3-page fact sheet summarizes recommendations from four recent reviews of the literature on climate change adaptation. Written by Rebecca G. Harvey, Laura A. Brandt, and Frank J. Mazzotti, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, February 2012.