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Foundational Science Area: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife and Habitats in the North Central U.S.

Principal Investigator(s): 
Andrew Hansen (Department of Ecology, Montana State University)
Arjun Adhikari (Montana State University); Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee Subcommittee on Whitebark Pine; Wolverine State Wildland Action Plan Working Group

Researchers with the North Central Climate Science Center have made substantial progress in assessing the impacts of climate and land use change on wildlife and ecosystems across the region. Building on this progress, researchers will work with stakeholders to identify adaptation strategies and inform resource management in the areas that will be most affected by changing conditions.

There are several components of this project. First, researchers will use the Department of Interior “resource briefs” as a mechanism to communicate information to resource managers on climate and land use change and their impacts to resources. These briefs will support coordinated management of ecosystems that contain public, private, and tribal lands. Researchers will also inform the development of a multi-state management plan for wolverine, a species being considered for listing, by providing forecasts of how wolverine habitat might change as climate conditions and land use change. Finally, researchers will work with federal and private resource managers in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and High Divide regions to develop management guidelines under different possible future climate conditions. This project will support resource managers throughout the North Central region in understanding how conditions might change and identifying potential climate adaptation strategies.

This project team is part of the North Central Climate Science Center’s Ecological Impacts Foundational Science Area Team, which supports foundational research and advice, guidance, and technical assistance to other NC CSC projects as they address climate science challenges that are important for land managers and ecologists in the region.

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For data, information, products, and more, visit the NCCWSC project page and ScienceBase page for this project. 

: “Rocky Mountain National Park - Credit: Alan Cressler”