Migration in Motion: Visualizing Species Movements Due to Climate Change

As climate change alters habitats and disrupts ecosystems, where will animals move to survive? And will human development prevent them from getting there? Now you can see those migrations in motion.

New research from The Nature Conservancy and university scientists revealed that only 41 percent of the natural land area in the United States retains enough connectivity to facilitate species tracking their preferred climate conditions as the global climate changes. As part of that study, scientists modeled the distribution and habitat needs of 2,903 vertebrate species in the Western hemisphere against land use and projected climate patterns.

Previous work mapped the geographic areas in the western hemisphere through which species will likely need to move to track their suitable climates. That study identified that the Amazon Basin, southeastern United States and southeastern Brazil are three areas with projected high densities of climate-driven movements.

In the United States, the Southern Appalachian Mountains are one of the most important migration corridors for birds, mammals, and amphibians that need to move to adapt to climate change.

See the visualization…

 

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