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Wednesday, January 27 • 11:20am - 11:40am
Climate Change Impacts on Birds in National Parks in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region

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AUTHORS: Chad Wilsey, National Audubon Society; Caitlin Jensen, National Audubon Society; Nicholas Fisichelli, National Park Service; Stephen N. Mathews, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Human-induced climate change is increasingly recognized as a fundamental driver of biological processes and patterns. Birds are a vital resource within national parks and a major draw for visitors. Predicting the impact of climate change on future patterns of bird diversity will greatly aid conservation planning and natural resource management. We utilize species distribution models projecting future range shifts of North American birds to summarize potential changes in relative suitability of multiple national parks throughout the Upper Mississippi and Great Lakes regions. Distribution models were built using the North American Breeding Bird Survey and Audubon Christmas Bird Count datasets for the breeding and non-breeding seasons, respectively. Projections were made under a range of future emission scenarios (SRES A2, A1B, and B2) and for three future time periods (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s). We summarize projections of future climatic suitability for suites of species within each National Park (~300 species per park), and describe regional trends across habitat groups. We also compare outputs to a second regional climate response modeling effort. This approach translates continental-scale projections of distributions into local projections of relative change and is potentially useful for site-specific natural resource management, to inform ongoing bird monitoring, and for visitor education of climate change effects. Emerging patterns include declining suitability for hardwood and boreal bird species and increasing suitability for grassland species across the region. 

Wednesday January 27, 2016 11:20am - 11:40am EST
Emerald A