Climate change and conservation planning
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Climate Change and Conservation Planning. Allison Aldous & Ken Popper, TNC Oregon Patrick Gonzalez, TNC Global Climate Change Initiative. © Chris Carvalho. Applying climate change science. Models Uncertainty Spatial scale. Approach: Adapt CAP framework. Selecting conservation targets

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Climate change and conservation planning

Climate Change and Conservation Planning

Allison Aldous & Ken Popper, TNC Oregon

Patrick Gonzalez, TNC Global Climate Change Initiative

© Chris Carvalho

Applying climate change science
Applying climate change science



Spatial scale

Approach adapt cap framework
Approach: Adapt CAP framework

  • Selecting conservation targets

  • Defining attributes & indicators of viability

  • How will current threats be altered by CC?

  • What novel threats will arise due to CC?

  • What strategies can address current and novel threats?

Think about connectivity

Targets and Conservation Area

Where is the species or ecosystem in relation to its distribution?

Think about connectivity

  • What environmental gradients affect it?

  • b. How well connected is suitable habitat across the landscape?

  • c. How does the degree of connectivity compare to the dispersal capabilities of the targets?

Consider existing and novel threats

KEAs and Threats

Consider existing and novel threats

  • How will novel CC threats affect each ecological attribute of the species or ecosystem in question?

  • 2. How will CC threats exacerbate existing threats?

  • 3. Focus on CC threats that are relatively well-established




Wetland complex

Estuarine ecosystem

Hydrologic regime: stream flow from melting snowpack

Extent and distribution of

salt marsh

Decline in stream flow

Loss of salt marsh

Reduced snowpack; decreased late season base flows

Agricultural water withdrawals, dams & diversions

Sea level rise



Energy, transportation,



enhance resilience

Photo credit: An Inconvenient Truth, © 2006, Paramount Pictures

Cc strategies can be proactive

Objectives and Strategies

CC strategies can be proactive

  • Focus on species and ecosystems in the middle of their range

  • Consider strategies to specifically address CC threats

  • Elevate strategies that address CC threats in addition to existing threats

  • Elevate strategies that address CC threats to multiple targets

  • MONITOR strategy effectiveness

  • Communicate impacts of climate change to partners and colleagues

Impact of climate change:

Increased atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations


Forest conservation and restoration

Impact of climate change:

Species ranges shift altitudinally and latitudinally


Identify climate change refugia and concentrate management effort and

new acquisitions on portfolio sites in refugia

Impact of climate change:

Habitat fragmentation prevents dispersal to new habitats


Establish corridors to link current habitat to predicted new habitats

Impact of climate change:

Sea level rise


Vegetate coastal marshes as sea level rises and marshes shift inland

Impact of climate change:

Decreased late season baseflow


Restore and protect key freshwater wetlands, including riparian areas, to store water for late season flows


  • Look at Conservation Planning through a Climate Change lens.

  • Anticipate the impacts of climate change on portfolio species and ecosystems.

  • Implement strategies to mitigate those impacts and increase target resilience