FWS: Climate Change Is Affecting Fish and Wildlife in Every State

May 11, 2011

As predicted, climate change is having a wide range of effects on fish and wildlife, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. To illustrate those impacts in each state — and related attempts at mitigation and collaborative projects — the agency is publishing a new article every weekday for fifty consecutive days, beginning Earth Day (April 22, 2011). The articles can provide possible starting points on the specific area and topic covered, or similar topics, areas, and mitigation efforts in that state or nearby.

As examples of the articles so far, in Arizona the topic was the effects on pollinators caused by the shift of some vegetation to higher altitudes. More than 75% of plants are reliant on pollinators, the FWS says.

In California, climate change is being recognized as a major factor in the complex set of forces contributing to the deterioration of the San FranciscoBay estuary and the delta region of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers; the article discusses planning efforts that are beginning to recognize and address this.

Extreme weather in Missouri, and related fluctuations in water flow and temperature, are making recovery of the endangered pallid sturgeon more difficult, according to the FWS article for that state. These fish are one of the largest freshwater species in the country, and related challenges are being seen in IA, KS, NE, and SD.

Off the coast of South Carolina, the ocean has swallowed an important breeding ground and habitat for birds and other animals near Charleston, providing just one example of an impact from rising sea levels.

Among other states already covered are DE, ID, LA, MA, MT, NC, and WI.