Webinar: Application of high resolution climate models to benefit avian conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region, Northern Great Plains

Event Type: 
Other Webinar
Date and Time: 
Dec 12, 2013 (All day)

Time: 1:00pm Mountain / 12:00pm Pacific

Webinar host: National Climate Change and Wildife Science Center

Presenter: Susan Skagen and John Stamm, USGS Fort Collins Science Center, and Valerie Steen, Colorado State University

Description: 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.

Please check the NCCWSC website for registration information.