Web Resource

The NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index

Motivated by the need for a means to rapidly assess the vulnerability of species to climate
change, NatureServe developed a Climate Change Vulnerability Index. The Index uses a
scoring system that integrates a species’ predicted exposure to climate change within an
assessment area and three sets of factors associated with climate change sensitivity, each
supported by published studies: 1) indirect exposure to climate change, 2) species-specific
factors (including dispersal ability, temperature and precipitation sensitivity,
physical habitat specificity, interspecific interactions, and genetic factors), and 3)
documented response to climate change. Assessing species with this Index facilitates
grouping taxa by their relative risk to climate change, and by sensitivity factors, which
we expect will help users to identify adaptation options that could benefit multiple
species. The primary goal for the Index is to provide valuable input for key planning
documents, such as revisions of state wildlife action plans, such that climate change
impacts can be addressed and integrated with other stressors. The index is developed in a Microsoft Excel workbook and uses climate projections downloaded from Climate Wizard.

Please see also: Tool Description: The NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index.

CA LCC Projects that used the NatureServe Vulnerabilty Index include:
A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Sierra Nevada Birds, and
A Method for Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Rare Plants in California

Young, Bruce, Byers, Elizabeth, Gravuer, Kelly, Hall, Kim, Hammerson, Geoff, Redder, Alan
Cordeiro, Jay, and Szabo, Kristin
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