Location

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

Start Date

1-5-2014 10:00 AM

End Date

1-5-2014 11:00 AM

Project Type

Poster

Description

As the impacts of anthropogenic-induced climate change become more pronounced around the globe, the implications on specific species and ecosystems are increasingly becoming areas of concern. Changing temperatures and vegetation patterns suggest alterations of species distribution and global biomes altogether. These predicted changes may have a negative impact on large predatory mammals, as they will most likely need to alter their ranges in order to adapt to the changing temperatures and habitats. In this study we focused on three predatory mammals: the wolf (Canis lupus spp.), the lynx (Lynx spp.), and the brown bear (Ursus arctos). We made predictions regarding these species future distributions in both North America and Europe, taking into account protected areas, human population density, as well as future vegetation projections. We hypothesized that if future predatory mammal distributions are projected based off of climate and landscape changes in habitat, species residing in North America will likely have a better chance of maintaining stable populations compared to their counterparts in Europe due to greater expanses of protected areas, less habitat fragmentation, lower human populations, and more established management plans. We found that the general trend for the future ranges of all three species is a northward shift as their preferred biomes move in this direction. For all three species the southern extent of their range will be mostly uninhabitable, especially in the smaller patches of Southern Europe. We suggest that conservation implications for all large predatory mammals involve increased habitat corridors and stronger policy management plans, especially in Europe, in order to protect species distributions and gene flow as well as decreasing human-wildlife conflict.

Faculty Sponsor

Russ Cole

Sponsoring Department

Colby College. Environmental Studies Program

CLAS Field of Study

Interdisciplinary Studies

Event Website

http://www.colby.edu/clas

ID

230

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May 1st, 10:00 AM May 1st, 11:00 AM

The Conservation Implications of Climate Change on Predatory Mammal Distributions in North America and Europe: A Three Case Study

Parker-Reed, SSWAC

As the impacts of anthropogenic-induced climate change become more pronounced around the globe, the implications on specific species and ecosystems are increasingly becoming areas of concern. Changing temperatures and vegetation patterns suggest alterations of species distribution and global biomes altogether. These predicted changes may have a negative impact on large predatory mammals, as they will most likely need to alter their ranges in order to adapt to the changing temperatures and habitats. In this study we focused on three predatory mammals: the wolf (Canis lupus spp.), the lynx (Lynx spp.), and the brown bear (Ursus arctos). We made predictions regarding these species future distributions in both North America and Europe, taking into account protected areas, human population density, as well as future vegetation projections. We hypothesized that if future predatory mammal distributions are projected based off of climate and landscape changes in habitat, species residing in North America will likely have a better chance of maintaining stable populations compared to their counterparts in Europe due to greater expanses of protected areas, less habitat fragmentation, lower human populations, and more established management plans. We found that the general trend for the future ranges of all three species is a northward shift as their preferred biomes move in this direction. For all three species the southern extent of their range will be mostly uninhabitable, especially in the smaller patches of Southern Europe. We suggest that conservation implications for all large predatory mammals involve increased habitat corridors and stronger policy management plans, especially in Europe, in order to protect species distributions and gene flow as well as decreasing human-wildlife conflict.

http://digitalcommons.colby.edu/clas/2014/program/100