Webinar: Application of High Resolution Climate Models to Benefit Avian Conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region, Northern Great Plains

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View this webinar to learn more about climate change impacts on small prairie wetland ecosystems.

Date Recorded

Thursday, December 12, 2013


The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) contains millions of small prairie wetlands that provide critical habitat to migrating and breeding birds. To examine potential effects of climate change on birds of the U.S. PPR, we modeled contemporary and projected distributions of common wetland-dependent bird species using breeding bird survey occurrence records and wetland distribution, land use, and climate parameters.  We used the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) to provide high-resolution (36 km grid) estimates of contemporary and projected climate from 1981–2050 based on the A2 emissions scenario. Boundary conditions were provided by the Community Climate Systems Model (CCSM3), a General Circulation Model (GCM) selected on the basis of its skill in simulating climate for the Missouri River watershed in comparison to other GCMs. Species distribution models projected range reductions within the U.S. PPR for most species; extensive range reductions were predicted for Sora, Franklin’s Gull, Black Tern, and others, and moderate reductions for American Bittern, Willet, Wilson’s Phalarope, and others. Ongoing collaborative work examines surrogate species approaches to management with the following objectives: 1) to quantify distributional overlap between potential surrogate and beneficiary species, and 2) to evaluate the current and future adequacy of the existing reserve network for wetland-dependent birds within the U.S. PPR.


Transcript -- Skagen/Stamm/Steen 12.12.13

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