Climate Change: The Impact on Minnesota Wildlife
PHOTO: A report from the National Wildlife Federation cites climate change as a contributing factor in the declining moose population in Minnesota. CREDIT: amyhrer
February 1, 2013
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Creatures large and small in Minnesota are featured in a report from the National Wildlife Federation, which examines how deer, birds and other species are being impacted by a changing climate.
The report’s author, NWF Senior Scientist Amanda Staudt, says the underlying climatic conditions to which species were accustomed for thousands of years are changing.
"We are seeing and feeling the effects of climate change in our own backyards,” she says. “On our farms, in our forests, along the seaboards – right now. And for wildlife, it's about the impacts that we're seeing now, not something far away or far in the future."
Minnesota is mentioned specifically in the report when it comes to fish kills, from the combination of heat and drought. Climate change is also cited as a factor for the state's plummeting moose population.
While there is plenty of bad news in the study, Staudt says there's good news, too, and recommendations for solutions.
"We need to take steps to slow our emissions of carbon pollution,” she says. “And we need to take steps to help wildlife prepare for and deal with the types of changes that we're not going to be able to avoid."