PROGRAM TITLE:	Monitoring Impacts of Global Change on Fish and 
Wildlife
ACTIVITY STREAMS:	Observations/Data Mgmt., Process
SCIENCE ELEMENTS:	Ecological Systems and Dynamics

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

DESCRIPTION:  What have been and what will be the impacts of global 
change on biodiversity remain significant concerns of resource managers and 
policy makers.  This program develops long-term monitoring projects to 
detect and assess changes caused by global change in priority fish and wildlife 
resources.  Activities include augmenting surveys of migratory birds, fish 
stocks, and endangered species and initiating new biological diversity surveys 
in two critical areas: mid-western prairie potholes and coastal ecosystems.  By 
documenting changes in the abundance and distribution of target species, and 
the range and composition of significant ecosystems and biological 
communities, this program: 1) establishes a reference base to clearly 
demonstrate and assess the extent, magnitude, and rate of ecological impacts 
of global change, 2) highlights species and systems at risk, and 3) improves 
understanding of the mechanisms and causes of change.  The program draws 
on the established infrastructure within the DOI for managed and protected 
study sites, laboratory and support facilities, and information management.

Environmental variations caused by global change will alter species 
abundance, distribution and diversity; community structure and 
composition; and ecosystem dynamics and energetics; and is expected to lead 
to species extinctions.  However, current information is not adequate to 
model and predict the specific faunal and floral responses which will occur.  
To anticipate changes and manage the Nation's fish and wildlife and the 
natural systems which support them, the FWS is augmenting ongoing 
monitoring and modelling activities with field and laboratory experiments.  
These studies will determine thermal and hydrologic limits, changes in 
migratory patterns, physiological responses to increased ultraviolet radiation, 
habitat use, productivity, and the range, abundance and distribution of key 
species.  These baseline data will be used to develop and validate methods for 
estimating trends, evaluate the efficiency of existing survey methods, analyze 
patterns of species richness, determine the sensitivity of life history stages to 
changing ambient conditions, and predict changes in distributions and 
abundance of species and communities.  This information will provide 
managers with the scientific basis for policy-relevant assessments of the 
effects of global change.

STAKEHOLDERS: Governmental and nongovernmental participants in 
global change research, policy makers, resource managers, and multi-sector 
groups concerned with linking research to sustainable use and management 
of biological resources.  Data and information are available to all agencies and 
researchers in the USGCRP.  This research is being conducted in cooperation 
with several Federal agencies, State governments and universities.  Several 
agreements build on new and long-standing interagency agreements with 
several Federal agencies including EPA, DOE, NOAA, NASA, USFS, and 
USGS.  FWS brings to the USGCRP several unique long-term databases that 
can be used as baseline information to evaluate the impacts of global change 
on biodiversity.  The FWS Reserves provide managed, protected study sites 
that are invaluable for researchers and educational programs that foster 
public awareness of global change issues.

SHORT-TERM POLICY PAYOFFS:  The program builds upon existing long-
term efforts to monitor and assess fish and wildlife populations.  Evaluation 
and augmentation of existing databases that have been maintained for some 
species (e.g., Great Lakes stock assessments, Breeding Bird Survey) for decades 
is resulting in improvements in the collection and analysis of this 
information.  New methods using advanced technologies such as GIS and 
AVHRR, are being developed and validated.  These efforts are improving the 
accuracy and efficiency of estimating trends in species and communities and 
provide information of immediate use to policy makers and resource 
managers.  Research results address the impacts of climate change, ozone 
depletion, and deforestation on biodiversity.

PROGRAM CONTACT:	Dr. Peter Comanor
	Global Change Program Coordinator
	National Biological Survey
	U.S. Department of the Interior
	1849 C Street, N.W.
	Mail Stop 725
	Washington, D.C.  20240
	Phone (703) 358-1710
	Fax (703) 358-2228