Conservation is becoming climate smart
Conservation planning is increasingly integrating climate change concerns and will need to be flexible and dynamic in the future. While existing conservation goals usually remain valid, specific objectives are being redefined. Enhanced monitoring is essential to detect climate-induced changes in bird populations and to track the effectiveness of adaptation interventions.
Conservation planning is incorporating climate change
Climate-smart conservation is a dynamic process to explicitly address climate impacts in conservation responses. Flexibility is key, with both management actions and conservation goals evolving with time. It is important to consider how species may move across landscapes and regions and plan for both current and future needs.
Conservation spatial planning incorporates climate change
A recent study by National Audubon Society (BirdLife in USA) developed three different approaches to setting spatial priorities depending on assumptions about species’ ability to track shifts in climate or adapt to changing conditions. It also developed a ‘bet-hedging’ prioritization that draws on all three to facilitate efficient conservation investment in the face of substantial biological uncertainty.
Mobilising citizen scientists is aiding climate planning in Washington, USA
Citizen scientists with National Audubon Society in eastern Washington are monitoring sagebrush songbirds across 1 million acres. The program not only fills critical gaps in bird data but also provides a natural forum for climate conversations with bird advocates.
Monitoring is even more important under climate change
Long-term monitoring will be necessary to assess if and when projected impacts on species are realised, and to assess the effectiveness of adaptation interventions. Currently 61% of IBAs in central Asia that are threatened with climate change are being monitored, and expansion to cover the remainder is a priority.