Feds to study animal climate change risks

March 30, 2010 at 1:51 PM

RESTON, Va., March 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. government says it is funding 17 projects to better understand future climate change conditions and their effects on fish and other wildlife.

Officials said the projects include studies of alterations in Florida's ecosystems, potential impacts on Great Lakes fish, sea-level rise impacts on San Francisco Bay marshes, and the effects of melting glaciers on Alaska's freshwater coastal systems.

The U.S. Geological Survey funded the projects through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center.

"Our future holds new climate conditions and new habitat responses, and managers need projections based on sound science to assess how our landscapes may change and to develop effective response strategies for species survival," said Susan Haseltine, USGS associate director for biology.

The National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and other USGS scientific programs will work closely with eight regional Climate Science Centers being established by the Department of the Interior. Officials said those centers will provide scientific information, tools and techniques needed to manage land, water, wildlife and cultural resources in the face of climate change.

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