SCIENTISTS at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have devised a novel method to identify suitable new homes for animals under threat from climate change.
Conservation scientists used their knowledge on species ecology to create habitat suitability maps and correctly identify sites that will remain viable in the future regardless of changing climate. However, the key for success is to understand, and account for, the link between variation in species population size, climate and how the climate may change.
Almost half of all bird and amphibian species are believed to be highly vulnerable to extinction from climate change. Species in extreme or rare habitats such as the emperor penguin in the Antarctic and American pika in the USA have already experienced drastic declines in populations due to the impact of climate change on their home.
As climate changes, many species will need to move to a different location in order to survive. For species that aren’t able to do this naturally, the only chance of survival is a helping hand through the use of translocations.
The research is published today (6 September) in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, ZSL’s climate change coordinator and senior author on the paper, says: “Climate change poses a worrying threat to many animals, and relocating vulnerable species to new and more suitable habitats may be the only way to protect them. However, this is an extreme conservation action, which needs to be thoroughly justified, and requires clear guidance on where threatened populations should be moved. Our research shows how these key requirements can be met.”
The team used the hihi bird as an example because of the conservation success which came after efforts put into its relocation since the 1980s. Yet, despite large investments into its protection, climate change is now posing a significant threat to its future survival.
Dr Alienor Chauvenet, lead author of the study, says: “All current hihi populations are surrounded by either a large stretch of water or unsuitable habitat such as farmland or cities with plenty of non-native predators. This isolation makes it very perilous for them to move and individuals attempting to relocate naturally are unlikely to survive.
“Our work shows that assisted colonisation may be the only way to guarantee the survival of this unique species under climate change,” Dr Chauvenet added.
The Latest on: Habitat suitability maps
- Lake Sammamish informationon January 13, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Predicting Climate Change Effects on Kokanee Habitat Suitability in Lake Sammamish Report on the ... and Lake Sammamish to improve shorelines for people and salmon. Map of Lake Sammamish drainage area ...
- Windows to the Deep 2019: Exploration of the Deep-sea Habitats of the Southeastern United Stateson July 1, 2019 at 5:00 pm
After 17 days at sea, we ended the mission with new multibeam bathymetry maps of areas of the Blake Plateau (Figure ... underwater geohazards, and habitat suitability models. The wider scientific and ...
- Study Predicts Major Losses To Asian Elephant Habitats By 2070on March 14, 2019 at 2:28 am
The results of this study have important implications for conservation efforts as the suitability maps and future projections can be effectively used to identify critical habitat areas requiring ...
- Geomorphic Mapping, Dosewallips Riveron December 29, 2018 at 12:51 am
Issue 3: Suitability of aquatic habitat for biota This effort will identify current ... The USGS will use LIDAR and orthorectified digital imagery (ODI) to map relative floodplain and terrace ...
- Fish & Wildlife research & reportson May 6, 2018 at 3:31 am
The Washington Wildlife Connectivity Working Group (WWCWG) was established in 2007 to produce tools and analyses that identify and prioritize opportunities to provide habitat connectivity ... Ranking ...
- Dogs, dung, and DNA: mapping multi-species corridors to conserve threatened carnivoreson October 9, 2017 at 3:07 pm
The team combined high-tech and low-tech methods to map conservation corridors for ... to identify corridors that provide maximum habitat suitability and connectivity for all species while ...
- Deep-Sea Symphony: Exploring the Musicians Seamountson September 14, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Habitat suitability modeling has become a cost-effective tool to ... as other places where deep-sea corals have been observed in the past. Since these maps are predictions, it is important to evaluate ...
- Bear's best friendson January 13, 2016 at 4:00 pm
"Using Detection Dogs and RSPF Models to Assess Habitat Suitability for Bears ... (2016, January 14). Bear's best friends: Detection dogs help map out bear habitat in Greater Yellowstone.
- Satellite study reveals critical habitat and corridors for world's rarest gorillaon January 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm
These ratings were translated into a habitat suitability map for the area. With the new habitat suitability map to guide them, the team then selected 12 locations possessing all the ...
- School of Biological Scienceson November 11, 2011 at 4:22 pm
My objectives are: 1. Use habitat suitability modelling to map the potential distribution of P. austriacus in Britain and determine the ecogeographical variables that limit its distribution. 2.
via Google News and Bing News