Playas and other wetlands within the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) provide essential habitat for many wetland-dependent vertebrate species and are especially important as migration and wintering areas for waterfowl and shorebirds. Playas in the GPLCC are at risk of unsustainable sediment accumulation, reduced inundation frequency, and declining hydroperiods due to agricultural intensification and a changing climate with expected decreases in annual precipitation, changing precipitation patterns, and higher summer temperatures. We propose to project distribution shifts and/or range reductions of several focal migrating shorebird, waterfowl, and waterbird species in response to climate change, assuming current land use patterns. These models will provide an initial broadscale view of the underlying research question, “What number of playas, and in what spatial arrangement is necessary to support migrating and wintering wetland birds and/or other playa-dependent species?” Our findings will be incorporated into ongoing partner projects at smaller spatial scales to refine the information in regard to optimal numbers and spatial connectivity of wetlands. Measurable outcomes and products include species distribution models identifying the probable current and projected landscapes used by migrating and wintering wetland-dependent species across the GPLCC with special focus on the panhandle of Texas and the Rainwater Basin. The results will be communicated in the form of interim cooperator reports, 1-2 scientific manuscripts, ArcGIS shape files of projected bird distributions, presentations at scientific meetings, and active cooperative efforts with GPLCC partners and other entities working to identify conservation landscapes. The usefulness of the models and communication will be enhanced by direct outreach to cooperators and clients in advance of the effort. The perspective of future conditions and distributions of birds will greatly add to the management decision process underway for playa conservation
Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.
Potential Metadata Source