What We've Learned – a new publication highlighting lessons learned from two years of grantmaking through the Climate Adaptation Fund
Recognizing the need to stimulate efforts to achieve conservation goals in light of the daunting impacts of climate change, the Climate Adaptation Fund is supporting applied projects demonstrating effective interventions for wildlife adaptation to climate change. Following two years of grantmaking in this new conservation arena, we have learned many lessons and have seen positive signs of growth in this rapidly evolving field of climate change adaptation. We have compiled these insights in a new paper that we will continue to build upon in the future. In the meantime, read about What We've Learned thus far.
To receive program updates join our e-newsletter list: Sign up Here
Curious what sort of project receive support through the Climate Adaptation Fund? Check out three short films we've posted on Vimeo (Check out all 3 Here!). Below, we've shared one of these films about a project lead by The Grand Canyon Trust, a 2011 recipient of a WCS Climate Adaptation Fund grant. The group is working to reintroduce beavers in dozens of stream segments in Southern Utah, and tracking the benefits they provide to local ecosystems.
Grand Canyon Trust: Restoring a natural ecosystem engineer to provide riparian areas in Southern Utah from WCS Climate Adaptation Fund on Vimeo.
The beaver is one of nature's most skillful architects, but it doesn't just create lodges for its own toothy kin. The dams this engineering rodent builds can create water storage ponds that provide habitat for entire communities of wildlife, and ensure streams flow even when there is little rain and snowfall. As climate change warms up the earth and dries out valleys across the West, beavers have become an increasingly important ally in helping natural communities adapt.
WHY THE CLIMATE ADAPTATION FUND?
Due to changing climate, high-elevation whitebark pines have become hospitable to outbreaks of mountain pine beetles, destroying entire stands of these trees critical to many species. Grizzly bears depend on these pine nuts to help them gain weight for winter and a decline of the whitebark pine means less nutrition during the critical months before hibernation begins. A warming climate is also contributing to the decline of western trout populations. Grizzlies may soon find another favorite—spawning cutthroat trout—off the menu. These impacts are being felt by humans, as well. Recreational anglers spent more than $3 billion in the eight Rocky Mountain states in 2006. A reduction in cutthroat and other cold water fish species could translate into a major economic loss for tourism, the fishing industry, state wildlife agencies, and the local communities that depend on these revenues.
This rise in temperature of just a few degrees has broad implications for wildlife. Without action to preserve functional ecosystems and assist wildlife in adapting to varying habitat conditions, climate change could prove devastating. Through the WCS Climate Adaptation Fund, we hope to help overcome the odds.
HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM
In 2006, thanks to the support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the WCS Wildlife Action Opportunities Fund was launched. Over these past four years, the Opportunities Fund awarded more than $7.2 million for 81 wildlife conservation projects in 46 states, working to restore habitat, protect movement corridors, incorporate wildlife into land-use planning decisions, reintroduce endangered species, and implement priorities of State Wildlife Action Plans. We are proud of the conservation outcomes achieved by all of these projects and grateful for the on-going support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Learn more about grants awarded through the Climate Adaptation Fund in 2011
Read more about the history of our grantmaking program from 2006-2010