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Effects of climate change on wildlife in the Northern Rockies [Chapter 8]

Posted date: September 22, 2017
Publication Year: 
2018
Authors: McKelvey, Kevin S.; Buotte, Polly C.
Publication Series: 
Book Chapter
Source: In: Halofsky Jessica; Peterson David L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems. Advances in Global Change Research, Vol. 63. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. p. 143-167.

Abstract

Few data exist on the direct effects of climatic variability and change on animal species. Therefore, projected climate change effects must be inferred from what is known about habitat characteristics and the autecology of each species. Habitat for mammals, including predators (Canada lynx, fisher, wolverine) and prey (snowshoe hare) that depend on high-elevation, snowy environments, is expected to deteriorate relatively soon if snowpack continues to decrease. Species that are highly dependent on a narrow range of habitat (pygmy rabbit, Brewer’s sparrow, greater sage-grouse) will be especially vulnerable if that habitat decreases from increased disturbance (e.g., sagebrush mortality from wildfire). Species that are mobile or respond well to increased disturbance and habitat patchiness (deer, elk) will probably be resilient to a warmer climate in most locations. Some amphibian species (Columbia spotted frog, western toad) may be affected by pathogens (e.g., amphibian chytrid fungus) that are favored by a warmer climate.

Citation

McKelvey, Kevin S.; Buotte, Polly C. 2018. Effects of climate change on wildlife in the Northern Rockies [Chapter 8]. In: Halofsky Jessica; Peterson David L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems. Advances in Global Change Research, Vol. 63. Cham, Switzerland: Springer Nature. p. 143-167.