Grizzly bears in a blueberry patch, Alaska. Photo by Carl Johnson.
As the need to address global warming grows more urgent, The Wilderness Society's climate modeling work is proving to be a sought-after resource for public land managers looking for solutions.
Most recently, national park scientists have begun applying information learned from our climate team in Alaska, led by ecologist Wendy Loya.
Loya’s team created maps for every national park in Alaska, which illustrate anticipated changes in temperature and precipitation.
Park staff will be able to use this information to inform future planning processes and better refine park management decisions. For example, the Denali National Park climate models predict that warmer, dryer conditions may affect the growth of blueberries, a major food source for grizzly bears.
If fewer blueberries are available, bears may need to travel further to obtain the berries they need to get them through the winter. By anticipating this change in advance, park managers can ensure that decisions they make today do not conflict with the additional habitat bears may need in the future.
photo: Grizzly bears foraging for blueberries at Denali National Park & Preserve, Alaska. Photo by Carl Johnson.