To develop the framework to identify demographic sensitivities and assess the vulnerability of grassland bird species to future climate change. Objectives are to (1) Develop a strong partnership among managers and researchers to understand how climate change could be accounted for in conservation and management planning for grassland birds throughout the NE CSC region. (2) Develop spatially-explicit and temporally dynamic species distribution models for a select group of grassland birds. (3) Evaluate current “on-the-ground” prairie and grassland management practices and the placement of existing and proposed conservation areas relative to future climate change.
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By incorporating information on future climate change, we have identified regions where Henslow's Sparrows, a species of increasing conservation concern, are likely to face unsuitable conditions for reproduction. In addition, we have identified areas that will serve as likely refugia for this species in the future. We have performed the first-ever exploration of the synergistic effects of weather and grassland patch size, the most common currency of grassland bird conservation and management. We have found that large grasslands serve as an important buffer of extreme temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success, which provided an additional rationale for focusing effort on increasing grassland patch size for grassland bird conservation.
- News: Grassland Bird Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Meeting. December 20, 2013.
- McCauley, L., C. A Ribic, L. Y. Pomara, and B. Zuckerberg. 2017. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change. Landscape Ecology 32(4): 807–821
- Lisa A. McCauley, Benjamin Zuckerberg, Christine A. Ribic. "Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability for Grassland Birds using Demographically Informed Species Distribution Models". American Grassland Conference, Ft Collins, Colorado. September 29 - October 1, 2015.
- Zuckerberg, B. C. Ribic, and L. McCauley. 2015. Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Grassland Birds Using Demographically Informed Species Distribution Models. Central Hardwoods Joint Venture technical committee. March 2016
- Zuckerberg, B. Application of climate response models to bird conservation in the Americas. North American Ornithological Conference. August 2016