USGS Webinar: How to Prioritize Key Areas for Conservation Efforts in a Changing Climate — A Look at “Climate Refugia”

Ground Squirrel photo credit Toni Lyn Morreli (Northeast Climate Science Center)
Ground Squirrel photo credit Toni Lyn Morreli (Northeast Climate Science Center)

Speaker(s): Toni Lyn Morelli, Northeast Climate Science Center

Presentation Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Presentation Time: 3:00 PM EST

Registration: Registration is required for this webinar.

Please Register Here
(Video will be posted online one to two weeks after the presentation date.)

Documents & Resources
Speaker Bio
Ground Squirrels & Drought
Refugia in the Northeast (Related Project)

Project Summary
When making important resource management decisions in the face of accelerating impacts from climate change, managers and conservation practitioners must prioritize areas for adaptation actions. “Climate refugia” are often highlighted as potential target areas for conservation because they are buffered from climate change and therefore can help to ensure greater protection of wildlife and resources.

In this presentation, Toni Lyn Morelli will summarize the physical processes that create climate refugia, discuss a new framework for locating and managing them, and use examples to illustrate ways to identify and verify climate refugia. She will highlight her research using historical comparisons, genetic data, and surveys of Belding’s ground squirrels in the Sierra Nevada to conduct a rare test to determine which montane meadows are acting as refugia to buffer wildlife populations from climate change. Focusing on climate refugia could be an important strategy to help managers prioritize habitats for conservation in a changing climate.

This research was supported by the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the Northeast Climate Science Center.

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