Coconino Voices: In northern Arizona, climate change will affect wildlife | Chroniclers


Our hard-working public land managers understand the risks of drought and warming, and the closure of the forest last summer has helped reduce the incidence of wildfires, but enjoying the beautiful scenery has been difficult. we call home.

So what does all of this mean for our wildlife? Whether you are a hunter, bird watcher, outdoor adventurer, small tourism business owner, or nature lover, wildlife is a valuable resource in Arizona. We’re all delighted to occasionally spot a coyote on a morning jog, traces of pumas next to a cold mountain stream, or the piercing bald head of a bald eagle perched in the trees above. our hiking trails.

Climate change in northern Arizona is fundamentally translating into hotter, drier summers and winters, reduced snowpack, lower water table, and increased fire risk. For wildlife, this means dry springs and waterholes, as we have seen in the region in the spring and summer. This means an increased risk of stand fires, where old mature trees are lost and burned sites are subject to erosion and other post-fire impacts before recovery is possible. Wildlife is likely to ascend higher and further north and abandon reliable watering and nesting sites. Recent research has shown that some of our more charismatic species (including bighorn sheep, mule deer and puma) will be affected.

So what should we do? Responses to climate change are generally grouped into two categories: mitigation and adaptation.


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