Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Monarch – not a butterfly or an airline but a consortium of conservation bodies calling themselves ‘Modelling Natural Resource Responses to Climate Change’. They have just published their final report from a seven-year programme. This final phase concerned modelling the potential for detailed changes in the ranges of 32 BAP species.

Using various models, and setting global change as ‘the’ dominant factor to change, they ran various scenarios under high and low greenhouse gas emissions to project future potential climate space at 50km resolution. That is, how will the climate change in any 50km plot within Britain.

The resulting maps DO NOT attempt to simulate the future change of species, but only to show where the climate will be able to support such species, should they move under the influence of global change plus /minus other contributory factors.

Stone Curlew, Corn Bunting and Turtle Dove were projected to all gain substantial climate space with no significant loss – i.e. have the potential to expand their range.

Skylark, Common Scoter, Black Grouse, Capercaillie and Song Thrush would all lose potential climate space with no significant gains – the possibility of range contraction; and Tree Sparrow and Linnet modelled no losses or gains.

MONARCH output is generated as a ‘broad signpost’ to help develop policies for nature conservation in a changing climate. To predict a scenario and modify plans on the group accordingly. For example – the climate may be predicted to help a certain species expand, but that species will not do so unless the supporting habitat is provided as well. Thus conservation organisations can plan their land management to help support the expansion of these species if so desired.

The full report will eventually be made available for free at: www.ukcip.org.uk (registration is required but access is free).


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