Timothy C. Bonebrake (1)
1 The University of Hong Kong, Kadoorie Biological Sciences Building, Hong Kong, email@example.com, @bonebraking
Species must overcome a variety of challenges in order to successfully shift their distributions in a changing climate. Not only must suitable habitats be available to disperse to but individuals must also be able to get to these available habitats. Here I highlight the utility of coupled species distribution and population models in assessing the value or obstacles of different conservation interventions for facilitating ranges changes under warming. Using two case studies (a southern California rare plant and an endangered Asian waterbird) I show that standard distribution models alone cannot well predict suitable future habitat for species with specialized life histories. However, coupling demography with distribution models can help determine suitability of sites as well as project extinction risk under future climates and additional environmental changes (e.g. fire frequency alterations and disease outbreaks). Protected areas are clearly an important tool for facilitating range change as they help to ensure suitable habitats exist for moving species. But non-climatic factors can have dominant impacts on habitat suitability and should be considered as part of assessments of protected area effectiveness in facilitating range changes. Managed relocations can also be modelled in this framework and are shown to be effective in some circumstances. However, success will be maximized when multiple conservation interventions are considered as global change alters the future climates, habitats and environments that species depend upon for persistence.