Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Climate-smart strategies' proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
Wildlife Conservation Society
Summary:
A new report creates a conservation strategy that will promote wildlife resiliency in the Southern Canadian Rockies to the future impacts of climate change and road use. The report's "safe passages and safe havens" were informed in part by an assessment of six iconic species -- bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats and bighorn sheep -- five of which were ranked as highly vulnerable to projected changes.

Wolverines are one of five iconic species ranked as "highly vulnerable" in the Southern Canadian Rockies in a new report from WCS-Canada.
Credit: Mark Packila, Copyright WCS

A new report from the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) creates a conservation strategy that will promote wildlife resiliency in the Southern Canadian Rockies to the future impacts of climate change and road use. The report's "safe passages and safe havens" were informed in part by an assessment of six iconic species -- bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears, wolverines, mountain goats and bighorn sheep -- five of which were ranked as highly vulnerable to projected changes.

Nestled between Glacier National Park in Montana and Banff National Park in Canada, the Southern Canadian Rockies (SCR) has been overshadowed by these towering icons of mountain splendour. Yet this southern section contains spectacular landscapes, supports one of the most diverse communities of carnivores and hoofed mammals in North America, and is a stronghold for the six vulnerable species that have been vanquished in much of their former range further south.

In the report entitled Safe Havens, Safe Passages for Vulnerable Fish and Wildlife: Critical Landscapes in the Southern Canadian Rockies British Columbia and Montana, WCS Conservation Scientist John Weaver notes that wildlife will need 'room to roam' to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Complicating those climate-related transitions are major highways and an expansive network of forest roads that have fragmented the SRC landscape.

"Providing 'safe havens' of secure and diverse habitats and 'safe passages' across the highways are climate-smart strategies," says Weaver.

To that end, he assessed 16,978 square kilometres (6,632 square miles) of SCR land for conservation value based upon the needs of the vulnerable species and the myriad challenges facing each. For example, warmer winter temperatures resulting from climate change will reduce mountain snow cover and suitable habitat for the rare wolverine, a species highly adapted to persistent snow pack. Reduced stream flow and warmer stream temperatures will diminish habitat for westslope cutthroat trout, a native fish adapted well to cold waters, while favouring introduced rainbow trout and hybrids of the two species.

Weaver recommends a portfolio of conservation lands including a 'Southern Canadian Rockies Wildlife Management Area' (WMA) that would conserve 66% of key habitats on 54% of its land base. The WMA designation would emphasize fish and wildlife values while allowing other responsible land uses. The trans-border Flathead River basin adjacent to Waterton Lakes-Glacier National International Peace Parks also merits very strong conservation consideration, says Weaver, due to its remarkable biological diversity. He endorses a new National or Provincial Park on the B.C. side and Wilderness areas on the Montana side.

Weaver goes on to identify safe havens not only important to wildlife today but that also provide a range of elevations and diverse topography for animals to relocate to in the future. To facilitate movement options for wildlife, the report maps nine suitable crossing locations along busy Highway 3 in British Columbia and 16 mountain passes that provide important wildlife connectivity across the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia.

"This report will help inform discussions and decisions about land and resource management in the Southern Canadian Rockies of British Columbia and Montana," said Weaver. "These spectacular landscapes provide some of the best remaining strongholds for a suite of vulnerable fish and wildlife. Protecting designated lands for conservation will help ensure that this rich diversity of fish and wildlife will be enjoyed by generations yet to follow."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wildlife Conservation Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wildlife Conservation Society. "'Climate-smart strategies' proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190641.htm>.
Wildlife Conservation Society. (2013, March 7). 'Climate-smart strategies' proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190641.htm
Wildlife Conservation Society. "'Climate-smart strategies' proposed for spectacular US-Canadian landscape." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307190641.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

Raw: Three Rare White Tiger Cubs Debut at Zoo

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) The Buenos Aires Zoo debuted a trio of rare white Bengal tiger cubs on Wednesday. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins