Informing Adaptation Strategies for Maintaining Landscape Connectivity for Northern Rockies Wildlife

Project Summary

Affiliation(s): North Central CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Steven Hostetler (Branch of Regional Research, Western Region)

The U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains support a large number of native wildlife species, and survival of these populations depends on connected landscapes to support current migration and dispersal, as well as future shifts in species’ ranges. However, habitat fragmentation and loss threaten these connections.

Land and wildlife managers across the U.S. are faced with decisions focused on reducing risks, like those from habitat fragmentation, to wildlife, ecosystems, and landscapes. Establishing connections between natural landscapes is a frequently recommended strategy for these managers to help wildlife adapt to changing conditions.

Working in partnership with state and federal resource managers and private land trusts, this project seeks to 1) understand how future climate change may alter habitat composition of landscapes that are expected to serve as important connections for wildlife, 2) understand how wildlife species of concern are expected to respond to changing conditions, 3) develop strategies to help stakeholders manage public and private lands in ways that allow wildlife to continue to move in response to changing conditions, and 4) explore how well existing management plans and conservation efforts are expected to support crucial connections for wildlife under climate change. 

Absaroka Range, on the Montana - Wyoming border - Credit: Diane Renkin, NPS

Affiliation(s): North Central CSC

Principal Investigator(s):
  • Steven Hostetler (Branch of Regional Research, Western Region)
  • Meredith McClure (Center for Large Landscape Conservation)
  • Bray J. Beltrán (Heart of the Rockies Initiative)
  • Yvette Converse (Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative)
  • Tom Olliff (Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative)
  • John Pierce (Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife)
  • Reed Kuennen (USFS Flathead National Forest)
  • Deb O’Neill (Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)
  • Michael Whitfield (Heart of the Rockies Initiative)
  • Melly Reuling (Center for Large Landscape Conservation)
  • Joe DeVivo (National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring Program)
  • Mike Durglo (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes)
  • Greg Eckert (National Park Service)
  • Sean Finn (Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative)
  • Linh Hoang (U. S. Forest Service)
  • Whisper Means (Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes)
  • Brittany Morlin (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
  • Michael Philbin (Bureau of Land Management)
  • Gregg Servheen (Idaho Fish & Game Department)
  • Erin Sexton (Crown Managers Partnership)
  • Cara Staab (U.S. Forest Service)
  • Leona Svancara (Idaho Fish & Game Department)
  • Deb Wambach (Montana Department of Transportation)

Start Date: January 2015

End Date: October 2016

Project Status: Completed

Tags: wildlife connectivity, priority landscapes, adaptation strategies, CSC, North Central CSC, 2015, Landscapes, Wildlife and Plants, Mammals, Forests, Grasslands and Plains

Fiscal Year: FY 2015 Projects

Publications & Other

  • Informing adaptation strategies for maintaining landscape connectivity for Northern Rockies wildlife in the face of climate change:challenges and limitations Final Report

    • report_170331100406-FinalReport_Compiled_Final.pdf (Download)