Fish and Wildlife Service: How Climate Change is Impacting Fish, Wildlife

Starting this Earth Day, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will launch a series of 50 stories for 50 consecutive weekdays that will explore the many ways accelerating climate change is impacting or may impact fish and wildlife across America. No geographic region is immune.

Combined with other resource stressors, such as urbanization, invasive species and water scarcity, climate change is disrupting natural systems upon which wildlife and people depend. The series will cover 50 states, examining regional challenges posed by climate change.

Here are just a few examples:

  • On the Atlantic Coast, the rising sea is claiming historical nesting grounds for shorebirds and sea turtles.
  • Loss of snowpack and changing hydrology in the Pacific Northwest is having a profound impact on native trout species.
  • As human influence on the natural landscape increases in the Rocky Mountain West, there is a growing need to secure opportunities for wildlife to move between large blocks of protected public land that provide valuable habitat for large mammals like the grizzly bear.
  • With temperatures in the Northeast predicted to rise in the coming years, the deep snow cover Canada lynx depend on may be significantly reduced, eliminating their competitive advantage over other predators.

In keeping with the 2011 Earth Day theme of "A Billion Acts of Green," the stories also will highlight science-based solutions and collaborative actions that are making a difference for wild things and wild places.

"All across America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with partners to develop a shared understanding of changing environmental conditions and to inform resource management actions using the best science available," said Service Acting Director Rowan Gould. "We know the future is not the past restored; conservation success rests in our collective ability to work in unison to safeguard our Nation’s wildlife heritage."

A new story will be posted each day, Monday through Friday, at the link below.

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