Causes of Climate Change Vulnerability for Northeastern Terrestrial Wildlife

Project Leader: 
Research Partners: 
Vermont Center for Ecostudies, Hector Galbraith; Molly Cross (Wildlife Conservation Society); Laura Thompson (NCASC)
Project Fellows: 
Science Themes: 

In the face of increasing temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and large uncertainty, natural resource managers need to assess vulnerability of species in order to develop adaptation options and conservation strategies. This research is evaluating how shifting climate is directly and indirectly affecting mammal populations in the northeasten U.S.  We use a variety of methods to do this, including long-term data, field surveys, elevational transects, camera trapping, live trapping, radio telemetery, genetic analysis, and isotope analysis, as well as literature syntheses and project screening tools. The goal is to understand how current community dynamics may be altered given predicted changes in climate and habitat to inform conservation and management in the region.  



  • New York Department of Environmental Protection moose working group workshop, Adirondacks, May 2018
  • Climate change refugia, landscape connectivity, and translational ecology. Reed College Department of Biology, February 2018.
  • Using decision tools to assess vulnerability and manage wildlife response to climate change. Annual Michigan Department of Natural Resources Professional Development Training, Traverse City, MI, January 2018.
  • A community perspective on the effects of climate change on species distributions in the boreal forest of the northeastern United States, AGU 2016;
  • Climate change refugia, landscape connectivity, and translational ecology. University of Connecticut Department of Environment and Wildlife, November 2017;
  • Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) workshop in Burlington, VT, Jan 22, 2018, which will incorporate some of the red squirrel and other SiMPL camera trap data
  • Northeast Forest Carnivore Working Group Workshop, SUNY-ESF Adirondack Ecological Center (AEC); Newcomb, NY, September 28-29, 2017
  • "The Climate Project Screening Tool: Incorporating Climate Adaptation into On-the-Ground Agency Activities", NEAFWA 4/17/2018, Burlington VT