• Common Sense Conservation Since 1938
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To promote the conservation, sound management, and sustainable use of Indiana's wildlife and wildlife habitat through education, advocacy, and action.

Climate Change

Scientists around the world agree that climate change will affect the way we and wildlife interact with the natural world.  Below are two reports that pull together information from numerous scientific studies.

Assess the U.S. Climate
The National Climate Assessment released its third report on May 6, 2014, featuring the input of more than a dozen federal agencies and hundred of leading scientists and experts.

Wildlife Legacy: Climate Change and the Next Generation of Wildlife
This report from the National Wildlife Federation gives 15 examples of climate change harming young wildlife, from moose calves to tiger cubs.

Climate Trends

Overall, the frequency of precipitation will increase, with more rain in the winter and spring, resulting in higher stream flows and increased flooding. Heavier rainfall and periodic flooding during planting and harvesting periods may lead to crop losses. Intensive rainfall will lead to more soil erosion and agriculture runoff that will affect Indiana’s natural freshwater resources. Erratic extreme weather events will become more common; the intensity of summer storms with high winds will be amplified; and more frequent summer droughts are expected.

Effects on Wildlife

Learn how climate change affects, and will continue to affect, wildlife such as…

  • Salmon and Trout: Salmon and Trout need a lot of clean, cold water to survive. Climate change affects streams directly by augmenting  sunlight and overall air temperature, and  indirectly by increasing snow melt, runoff and erosion. If water temperatures reach 70°F these fish will become impaired, and at 75°F the stream habitat becomes lethal and causes fish kills.
  • Painted Turtles: Female turtles lay their eggs on land; the surface temperature during embryonic development determines the sex of the offspring. Females lay their eggs from May to October, and eggs are hatched between 72-80 days. Warmer temperatures will result in a higher ratio of female to male offspring, which models suggest may lead this species to extinction.
  • White-Tailed Deer: As temperatures continue to increase and create drought-like conditions in the summer, deer will seek out water sources. As a result, deer will encounter midge, a disease transmitting insect, more frequently. With later frosts, midges will be a problem longer into the winter thus increasing disease transmission incidences.

This is an important time for those concerned with challenges facing wildlife from a rapidly changing climate; we need to emphasize wildlife conservation as legislators make progress and let our elected officials know the environmental legislation that is important to us. Stay up to date with important legislation by visiting our Bill Watch.