Climate change impacts on ecology and habitats of Central Valley waterfowl and other waterbirds
This website offers results from the project "Impacts of climate change on ecology and habitats of waterbirds", which evaluates projected impacts of climate, urbanization, and water management scenarios on ecology and habitats of waterfowl and other waterbirds in the Central Valley of California.
The Central Valley (CVCA) of California contains some of the most important habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds in North America. Most waterbird habitats in the CVCA which include wetlands, flooded rice fields, and other agricultural lands, rely on managed surface water supplies stored in reservoirs and delivered via a complex, interconnected system to a wide array of competing water users. Downscaled global climate models indicate substantial changes in temperature and precipitation patterns in watersheds that supply water used to manage wetlands and agricultural habitats in the CVCA. These climate changes, in combination with projected urbanization and proposed changes to the management of Central Valley water supplies could result in temporal and spatial variations in water supplies that affect the area, timing, and productivity of waterbird habitats. These habitat changes could greatly impact waterbird ecology. Despite these potential impacts, lack of information is preventing large-scale, multi-partner conservation programs such as the Central Valley Joint Venture (JV) and California Land Conservation Cooperative (LCC) from fully considering climate change and other factors in conservation planning. Information on these factors is needed to help direct conservation resources and maintain program effectiveness. This project evaluates impacts of potential scenarios of climate, urbanization, and water management on habitats and ecology of waterbirds to help the JV, LCC, and other programs account for these factors in their conservation planning.