Karen Terwilliger has released an interim report detailing results from the first year of her work on the NE CASC project "Assessing Climate Change Threats and Actions in Northeast State Wildlife Action Plans". This research synthesizes and prioritizes climate change threats and associated adaptation strategies for regional species of greatest conservation need as identified in recent State Wildlife Action Plans to support coordinated conservation and adaptation by Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) states.
Across the Northeast, 14 States’ Wildlife Action Plans have identified climate change as one of the top five threats to fish and wildlife and their habitats. They further indicate that climate change exacerbates the other four priority threat impacts of pollution, disease, invasive species, and development in the region. This project provides the information and tools to state fish and wildlife agencies to help them address this formidable challenge by working with the NE CASC to fill important data gaps and inform development and implementation of effective fish and wildlife adaptation strategies. Recent surveys show that state fish and wildlife agencies across the nation lack the resources (funding and staff) and expertise to meet this challenge. To address these state needs, current information was compiled, synthesized and presented to state fish and wildlife agency wildlife throughout the year to arm them with the tools and information to facilitate their important work. A coordination network was established to solicit specific, emerging state needs and to deliver current information regularly to key agency programs via presentations, symposia, webinars and other venues requested by states. A multi-agency/stakeholder Northeast Climate Change Working Group was established to focus on these key needs and develop priority actions that can be delivered most effectively across the region to address this challenge.