Some like it hot – and some not! Broadening the coverage of climate change vulnerability assessments across species and ecosystems
Why we are there
Development of assessment approaches has a long-standing history at the Institute of Zoology – from developing extinction risk assessments via IUCN Red List Criteria to sampled approaches for biodiversity assessments, we have built not just the technical knowledge but vast collaborator networks to carry out species assessments across taxonomic groups and within the terrestrial, freshwater and marine environment. We have previously developed qualitative assessments of climate change vulnerability for international policy instruments such as the Convention on Migratory Species to assess climate change impacts for a selection of priority species which are on the transboundary move, and are now working to translate this into a quantitative approach enlisting protocols on species distribution modelling and trait-based vulnerability approaches such as those advocated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Our work is expected to provide an insight into climate change vulnerability of a variety of species groups. So far, we have focussed on reptiles and freshwater crayfish (with collaborators at the University of Melbourne, Australia). Assessment of climate change vulnerability of the CMS Appendix I and II species will allow the CMS to make policy-relevant decisions to mitigate climate change effects on migratory species and enable species to adapt under projected climate change scenarios.