Bird populations respond differently to changes in temperature

Air temperature is an important factor in determining bird distributions, more important even than vegetation in some cases. Temperature increases also affect species differently. These findings are reported in a new paper in Diversity and Distributions by NW CSC University of Oregon Graduate Fellow, Sarah Frey and her advisor, Matthew Betts. Understanding the effects of micro-habitat on bird distributions may shed light on species’ ability to behaviorally buffer themselves from climate change, and on forest management strategies to increase the potential for such buffering. Learn more about the project here.

New paper on beetle outbreaks in whitebark pines

Polly Buotte and Jeffrey Hicke, both of the University of Idaho, are lead authors on a new paper in Ecological Applications. Their paper outlines results from a study conducted with support from the NW CSC to better understand the role of climate influences on mountain pine beetle outbreaks in whitebark pine forests. The authors found that future climate conditions will likely favor beetle outbreaks within nearly all current whitebark pine habitat in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by the middle of this century. This finding is important for partners who must decide how and where to employ measures like releasing chemicals to disrupt beetle attacks, planting whitebark pine seedlings, and reintroducing fire. Learn more here.

USGS Climate Change and Wildlife Program Receives Award for Leadership in Climate Adaptation

The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers received honorable mention for the inaugural Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources for their outstanding work in raising awareness and addressing the impacts of climate change on the nation’s natural resources. In addition, the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community won an award for their efforts to address climate risks and, through a NW CSC-supported project, examine potential climate change impacts to important natural and cultural resources and community health. Learn more here.