This process born at the end of the Kaine administration – much state climate change planning.Held two one-day workshops to communicate with stakeholders. Workshop #1 – focused on defining problems and concerns. Workshop #2 – focused on actions we could take to begin addressing the problems and concerns. Identified a fundamental problem = lack of climate predictions suitable for management at a state scale.We started working on this project before the “ink was dry” on our strategy.
Initiated a 2-step project with the National Wildlife Federation and the Conservation Management Institute with most of the funding provided by the USFWS and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.Step 1 involved running our own climate models – trying to get past the “hype” and focus on management needs and concerns.Step 2 – working to understand how species and habitats could be impacted by these changing climatic conditions.
We produced our own models – tried to cut thru the “hype” and focus on the issues important for management purposes.Focused on most likely green house gas scenarios Focused on broad array of climate variables that could be modeled and might have relevance for management purposes. Developed maps at a finer scale than generated before.
This is the final list. Many of the original species that we hoped to model had to be abandoned – lack of distribution data and/or climate tolerances.We hoped to model vernal ponds as a specific habitat important to dozens of species but couldn’t make that happen – substituted two frogs.
We modeled responses for 10 tree species.Some species likely to do better under predicted conditions.Other species likely to fare worse under predicted conditions.We don’t know how quickly forest composition might change – could be years, could be centuriesThe more rapid the changes, the greater the impact.
If temperature rises and forests change, streams and aquatic wildlife will be impacted. Many species, like brook trout are temperature sensitive and could be extirpated.
5 F inc in temp. see that va will be very hard hit- no trout habt left.
Climatic conditions could become even more favorable for gypsy moths.Could result in more years with high numbers of larvae surviving the winter.Additional impacts to oaks – which would already be responding to changing climatic conditions.
Climate predictions well within T. Rattlesnake’s tolerances.However, if the climate changes, humans are likely to respond. One response could be moving to more inland and upland areas and developing habitats occupied by species like the timber rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes don’t do well around human communities.
Transcript of "Burkett presentation june 2013"
Virginia’s Climate Change Vulnerability
A lesson in Quiet Progress
VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries
June 5, 2013
Why are we here?
Talk about the BIG
Overview of our CC Plan
Brief background of our
Display some results
Identify next steps
Virginia is a politically
producing state and
we have been for
How I Feel Most Days:
Working on Climate
Change involves Political
Stakeholders that want
you to “Take a Stand”.
Climate Change Will Affect Management
Climate change will have an
impact on how we do our jobs.
We work for organizations
and agencies that were
created to conserve and
manage the nation’s
Like other threats, we need to
incorporate climate information
into our planning processes.
2009 Climate Change Strategy
Climate Adaptation Strategy
DGIF, NWF, VCN
Completed Oct. 2009
Designed to be place to start
One of the Most Important Needs:
Develop a better understanding of how
climate change might impact Virginia’s
wildlife and habitats.
Our plan does not:
Make impossible recommendations
Go on, and on, and on…
Applicable to more than just
Partner With NWF and CMI for a 2-Step Project
• the changes projected for
• what those changes might
mean for Virginia’s wildlife
Phase 1 – Climate Modeling
Virginia- Specific Climate Model
10km X 10km
Reports at 2060 and 2095
2 GHG scenarios (B1 and
Consider suite of climate
variables beyond avg. temp
and avg. precipitation.
We wanted to understand the extreme
events that drive the changing averages.
Topsoil Moisture Cold snap days
Soil Moisture Days in March with > 1" snow
Root soil moisture Mean spring growing degree days
Days with >= 6 " of
Mean minimum number of growing
degree days in the spring
Days with > 0.5" of
Mean maximum number of growing
degree days in the spring
Days with > 1" of snow Mean number of heatwave days
Days with > 1" runoff Minimum number of heatwave days
Days with > 8" runoff Maximum number of heatwave days
Heating degree days Mean soil moisture in July
Cooling degree days Mean minimum soil moisture in July
Foliage Damage Days Mean maximum soil moisture in July
– Part 2
Plants or Animals
Must be associated with the
Action Plan (SGCN, habitat
component, or threat)
Predictions based on current
distributions and climatic
Species Name Scientific Name
Bald Cypress Taxodium distichum
Black Oak Quercus velutina
Bobwhite Colinus virginianus
Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis
Cope's Gray Tree Frog Hyla chrysoscelis
Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis
Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida
Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar
James River Spiny Mussel Pleurobema collina
Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra
Oak Toad Anaxyrus quercicus
Red Spruce Picea rubens
Roanoke Logperch Percina rex
Shortleaf Pine Pinus echinata
Southern Red Oak Quercus falcata
Timber Rattlesnake Crotalus horridus
White Oak Quercus alba
White Pine Pinus strobus
Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus
Yellow Birch Betula alleghaniensis
Build CART model using current climate data
Plug in future climate data into model for probability of
Low (.01 - .40)
Medium (.41 - .70)
High (> .70)
Climate Impacts and Implications for
Wildlife and Habitat
Mid 21st Late 21st
Increase Decrease Increase Decrease
Day .5” rain 74.1% 25.9% 66.9% 32.3%
Day 1” snow 0.0% 86.5% 3.0% 83.5%
Day 1” runoff 14.3% 58.3% 24.0% 50.0%
Cold Snap Days 0.0% 99.6% 0.0% 99.6%
(GDD) 100.0% 0.0% 100.0% 0.0%
MeanHeatWaveDay (HWD) 98.7% 1.3% 100.0% 0.0%
Climate Projections from Modeling
Changing Forest Composition
Potential for changing
Climate could be more
favorable for some
species (So. Red Oak and
Less favorable for others
(Black Oak, White Oak,
No. Red Oak)
Concerns about rate of
impacts - habitat
What have we learned?
Things are going to change
Not as simple as move upslope/upstream
Distributions will change, so will probability of occurrence
New combinations of species
Gypsy moth and oak species
Changing plant community composition
Competition from new species interactions
•Department of Forestry
•Local planning offices
Climate is not the sole determining factor.
What to do with the
Focus on Habitats
Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator
Virginia Department of Game and
Virginia’s Climate Strategy for Wildlife is Available at:
Science and Policy Manager
National Wildlife Federation
Conservation Management Institute
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.