Assessing the Vulnerability of Northeastern Wildlife to Climate Change

Research Partners: 
Toni Lyn Morelli
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 project focuses on developing and implementing rapid assessments of wildlife in Massachusetts and mammals across the northeastern forest that was conducted through a knowledge coproduction framework.  The goal is to develop specific adaptation actions, including managing climate change refugia and incorporating actions into project planning at the state and forest level.

  • Staudinger, M.D., T.L. Morelli, & A.M. Bryan. 2015. Integrating Climate Change into Northeast and Midwest State Wildlife Action Plans. DOI Northeast Climate Science Center Report, Amherst, Massachusetts.
  • Galbraith, H. & Morelli, T.L. 2017. Vulnerabilities to climate change of Massachusetts animal species of greatest conservation need. Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game report. (See appendices, attached below)


  • The Wildlife Society Nov 17, 2016, Hadley MA, "Climate Change Impacts on Wildlife"; Keynote speech at the annual meeting of the Western Massachusetts Master Gardener Association, "Climate change and the backyard gardener", January 21, 2017; NE CSC webinar "Using Decision Tools to Assess Vulnerability and Inform Management of Wildlife in the Northeast", Amherst, MA, March 29, 2017
  • 76th Annual Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Lincoln NE, Feb 7, 2017, presented " The Northeast Climate Science Center: Improving the Way Climate Science Informs Resource Management"
  • "Using decision tools to assess vulnerability and inform management of wildlife in the Northeast”, NE CSC webinar in March 2017.  "Wildlife Vulnerability to Climate Change" at the NE CSC Regional Science Meeting in May 2017
  • "Integrating and implementing climate change in State Wildlife Action Plans", NAF, St Paul, MN, May 2017
  • "Using decision tools to assess vulnerability and manage wildlife response to climate change", Annual Michigan Department of Natural Resources Professional Development Training: Jan 24, 2018;