Climate change data
Establishing connections among natural landscapes is the most frequently recommended strategy for adapting management of natural resources in response to climate change. The U.S. Northern Rockies still support a full suite of native wildlife, and survival of these populations depends on connected landscapes. Connected landscapes support current migration and dispersal as well as future shifts in species ranges that will be necessary for species to adapt to our changing climate. Working in partnership with state and federal resource managers and private land trusts, we sought to: 1) understand how future climate change may alter habitat composition of landscapes expected to serve as important connections for wildlife, 2) estimate how wildlife species of concern are expected to respond to these changes, 3) develop climate-smart strategies to help stakeholders manage public and private lands in ways that allow wildlife to continue to move in response to changing conditions, and 4) explore how well existing management plans and conservation efforts are expected to support crucial connections for wildlife under climate change. We assessed vulnerability of eight wildlife species and four biomes to climate change, with a focus on potential impacts to connectivity.