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PNS Daily Newscast - April 20, 2018 


The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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The Day the Animals Left Maine

A moose in the distance at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, ME. Scientists are anticipating some iconic Maine species will move northward due to global warming and they're working to ready resilient landscapes for them. Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service
A moose in the distance at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, ME. Scientists are anticipating some iconic Maine species will move northward due to global warming and they're working to ready resilient landscapes for them. Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service
December 20, 2012

YARMOUTH, Maine - They haven't left yet, but where will Maine's animals - and plants - go if the global climate continues warming? And which will be moving up to Maine from the south? Scientists and land management experts, including many in Maine, want to make sure enough "resilient landscapes" are preserved to handle climate-caused shifts in wildlife populations.

University of Maine professor Mac Hunter says if temperatures continue to rise, some Pine Tree State critters could be moving on.

"Iconic species like moose, loons, puffins, lobsters and brook trout are all more or less at the southern edge of their range in Maine. As the climate warms, there's the possibility of these species moving northward."

With its Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative, the Open Space Institute is interacting with land trusts and public agencies across 13 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to identify and preserve places that offer such features as slopes, valleys, ravines and caves that would enable species to adjust to climatic changes. For some animals, merely moving to the north side of a slope might do the trick.

Hunter says it's not a simple matter, and other factors affect the adaptability of wildlife.

"With many species having populations that are lower than they've been in the past and living in landscapes that are more fragmented, there's significant concern that it may not be as easy for species to shift their geographic ranges."

Jennifer Melville says the Open Space Initiative (OSI) is using a map of landscape resiliency developed by the Nature Conservancy as a way to avoid simply guessing where animals affected by climate change will go.

"The metaphor that we keep using is 'skating to where the puck is going instead of skating to where it is now.'"

Melville says the mapping is a tool for making environmental investments.

"We've raised some money to provide funds to other organizations - to land trusts in particular - to use this science to go protect land."

The Northeast Resilient Landscapes Initiative was launched with a $6 million lead grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - ME