Park Science Special Issue: Climate Change Science in the National Parks

Park Science is a research and resource management bulletin from the National Park Service. This Special Issue is focused on climate change effects on National Parks and management options.

California Avian Data Center

Overview and Applicability

See current and future maps of bird species distributions, vegetation, or climate variables.

California avian maps

California avian maps

See current and future maps of bird species distributions, vegetation, or climate variables.

SAVS: A System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species to Climate Change

Overview & Applicability

The SAVS uses an online questionnaire with 22 criteria to predict vulnerability or population response of species to provide a framework for assessing vulnerability to future climate change. The 22 multiple-choice questions are grouped into four categories by theme: habitat, physiology, phenology and biotic interactions. The questionnaire is completed using information gathered from published materials, personal knowledge, or expert consultation.

species assessed by SAVS - mountain quail and desert tortoise

SAVS uses an online questionnaire with 22 criteria to predict vulnerability or resilience of an individual species to future climate change. Numerical scores indicating vulnerability or resilience for terrestrial vertebrate species are generated.

Climate Change Tree Atlas and Bird Atlas

Overview & Applicability

The Climate Change Atlases can help to answer a range of questions concerning current and projected suitable habitat (year 2100) for 134 tree species and 147 bird species in the eastern U.S.

quaking aspen habitat map - midwestern US

The Climate Change Atlases can be used to examine the current distribution of tree and bird habitats in the eastern United States, and how tree and bird distribution might change in response to different climate scenarios.

Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on Avian Abundance.

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Principal Investigator(s): 
Kathryn Purcell, Sylvia Mori

Using a longterm dataset (27+ years), researchers are examining the effect of weather patterns on avian abundance at the San Joaquin Experimental Range, an oak woodland savanna in California, to reveal potential climate change effects on demography and identify species at risk.

Project Status: 

Modeling potential future habitats for trees and birds in the eastern U.S.

Northern Research Station
Principal Investigator(s): 
Louis Iverson

The Landscape Change Research Group, from the Delaware, OH lab of the Northern Research Station, has been modeling potential changes in suitable habitat for trees and birds of the eastern US. These maps are available online at We also look at dispersal potentials through another modeling toolset, and work with modification factors to understand more about the factors not readily modeled.

Project Abstract: 

See more below

Project Status: 
Research Results: 


Prasad, A., L.Iverson, S.Matthews, M. Peters. 2009. Atlases of tree and bird species habitats for current and future climates. Ecological Restoration. 27: 260-263.

Iverson, L., A. M. Prasad, S. Matthews, and M. Peters. 2011. Lessons learned while integrating habitat, dispersal, disturbance, and life-history traits into species habitat models under climate change. Ecosystems. 14(6):1005-1020. 

Matthews, S. N., L. R. Iverson, A. M. Prasad, and M. P. Peters. 2011. Potential habitat changes of 147 North American bird species to redistribution of vegetation and climate following predicted climate change. Ecography. 34:933-945.

Iverson, L. R., A. M. Prasad, S. N. Matthews, and M. Peters. 2008. Estimating potential habitat for 134 eastern US tree species under six climate scenarios. Forest Ecology and Management. 254:390-406.

Matthews, S. N., L. R. Iverson, A. M. Prasad, M. P. Peters, and P. G. Rodewald. 2011. Modifying climate change habitat models using tree species-specific assessments of model uncertainty and life history factors. Forest Ecology and Management. 262:1460-1472.

Climate Change and Wildlife Habitat

Rocky Mountain Research Station

An analysis of potential national effects of climate change on wildlife habitat is being addressed by RMRS scientists through the estimation of an index of climate change stress to terrestrial biodiversity in order to identify regional hotspots of climate change impacts. This research focuses on management strategies for climate change in the states' Wildlife Action Plans.

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