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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