Wildlife Vulnerability to Climate Change: An Assessment For the Lake Simcoe Watershed - CCRR-22

Summary

We used wildlife indicators to assess the ecological conditions of the Lake Simcoe Watershed and to identify vulnerabilities to climate change within the watershed for the period 2010-2100. We measured avian guild richness, anuran calling and breeding phenology, mammal species richness, and landscape fragmentation. Overall, avian species richness has increased since 1985, particularly in the forest interior and cavity nesting guilds. This increase was heterogeneous across the landscape. Several subwatersheds, including Georgina Creeks, Hawkestone Creeks, Oro Creeks South, and Ramara Creeks, consistently contained the fewest species of each avian guild and thus may represent vulnerabilities in the watershed. However, during the next 90 years we expect overall avian species richness to increase in response to changes in summer and winter temperatures and precipitation. Anuran reproduction is also likely to be affected by climate change as reflected through changes in calling behaviour. We found that the calling date of amphibians in the Lake Simcoe region was linked to spring temperatures. Based on relationships identified between amphibian calling and average monthly spring temperature, we developed future calling scenarios using climate change models. These scenarios suggested that spring breeding amphibians may call 13 days earlier by 2100, consequently lengthening their breeding period.

Published Date: February 16, 2012
Publisher: Ontario Government, Ministry of Natural Resources
Author: Science and Information Resources Division (SIRD)

Details

Wildlife Vulnerability to Climate Change: An Assessment For the Lake Simcoe Watershed - CCRR-22
ISBN:    (PDF) 926.81 KB