Ways to help wildlife adapt to a warmer world
As the world gets warmer, strategies for helping wildlife adapt.
At least 18 strategies for adaptive wildlife management were put forward in a 2008 study by the Heinz Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment.
– Add more protected areas.
– Conserve multiple examples of each ecosystem type.
– Manage and restore existing protected areas for maximum resilience.
– Design new natural areas and restoration sites to maximize resilience. For example, restore marsh communities behind gently sloped and undeveloped ocean shorelines (those most likely to be affected by sea-level rise) rather than fortify existing beaches. Preparing for the change in this way will mitigate the effects when they arrive.
– Increase landscape “connectivity” and permeability so animals can migrate more freely. Remove dams and fish ladders in rivers, for instance.
– Protect wildlife corridors and “stepping stone” habitat islands to serve as stopovers for migratory waterfowl and for land-based species as they seek cooler climates.
– Reduce nonclimate stressors such as invasive species, chemical contaminants, and catastrophic wildfires.