Effects of climate change and other factors on a lizard community in an ecotone in southeastern Arizona.


Lizards are expected to be an early warning system of impending change in vegetation communities, and a useful tool in predicting adaptive management needs. This study is conducted in the area with the highest diversity of lizards in the USA, situated at an ecotone between two deserts and a mountain range. Changes in the lizard community are expected sooner in this ecotone than in distinct habitat types, and are also expected to precede observed changes in vegetation.

Project Status: 
Lawrence C.

Conservation of the Louisiana Pine Snake

Southern Research Station
Principal Investigator(s): 
Daniel Saenz

One of North America’s rarest reptiles, the Louisiana pine snake, may require extra assistance to persist under climate change. Scientists with the Southern Research Station are developing an RRTH (relocation, reintroduction, translocation, headstarting) project for these reptiles.

Project Status: 

Climate Change and Reptile Habitat in the northwestern U.S.

Pacific Northwest Research Station
Research Partners: 
PARC (Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation)
Principal Investigator(s): 
Dede Olson

Understanding reptile distributions and how they might be affected by climate change can help guide the management of these species. Research activities include:

  • Modeling landscape-scale factors including climate metrics associated with northwestern reptile distributions.
  • Examining potential habitat ‘hot spots’ for reptiles in coastal Oregon mesic forests.
Project Status: 

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 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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