- Issue: Fall 2015
You may have heard of a climate change risk assessment for a city, state or country—what extreme weather events it might experience, how global warming could impact its economy, or how changes in its air quality could affect people's health. But have you ever heard of such an assessment for wildlife?
"It's an emerging field of study, particularly the method we're using," says Nikhil Advani, a senior program officer for WWF's climate change adaptation program. "Conservation biology has traditionally focused on historic threats to species, like habitat destruction and overexploitation. And while addressing those threats remains vital, it's becoming increasingly clear that we need to understand how climate change could harm the various species we’re trying to protect."
To that end, Advani has been conducting vulnerability assessments and recommending management strategies for some of the most important species WWF is working on. Here's a look at some of the key vulnerability and resilience factors for those species—and a map of where they live today.
This research was funded by the General Motors Foundation. Learn more about species and climate change.