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USGS Study Recommends Identifying Wildlife "Refugia" from Climate Change
A new study released this month from USGS scientists recommends identifying, managing and conserving natural areas that are anticipated to stay similar even with a changing climate. The study published in PLOS One, Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation, finds that these natural areas will provide important habitat for wildlife species that are unable to adapt to changing conditions in other areas. This concept of "refugia" can provide ways to target conservation efforts to manage key areas that might not face as significant changes on the landscape.
"These are places that will be protected from climate change, at least relative to the land around them," said lead study author Toni Lyn Morelli, a USGS research ecologist with the Northeast Climate Science Center. "Management actions can then reduce other stressors, like disturbance or invasive species, so these areas can act as short-term sanctuaries for species of conservation concern and other important natural and cultural resources."