Frameworks for evaluating the vulnerability of multiple species to decline or extinction are increasingly needed by state and local agencies that are tasked with managing many species at once. USGS researchers in the Northwestern U.S. are looking at the “sensitivity” of wildlife species to climate change, which is a fundamental component of vulnerability, for freshwater fishes, amphibians, and reptiles native to the state of Oregon. They have evaluated species-level data across a large spectrum of geographic range sizes and climate sensitivity. Their results suggest that a combination of classifications based on species’ range sizes (the area they occupy) and their traits (e.g., body size, generation time, and investment in offspring) offer a promising foundation for regional multispecies conservation planning, particularly for species researchers know little about. Specifically, this framework can help identify focal species for monitoring and highlight priority species for which exposure to climate change and other threats should be assessed. Join the webinar on Sept. 22 to hear from Meryl Mims about this project and the research findings!
Meryl is a USGS Mendenhall Fellow contributing to science research at the Climate Science Centers. Meryl works closely with Jason Dunham, a researcher supported by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.