Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Agency says wildlife-rich Tennessee has lot to lose with global warming Brook trout, the state's only native trout, could disappear. Wood duck wouldn't be found as often raising their young along waterways and in wetlands. Drying of prairie potholes and marshes to the north could mean fewer mallard, northern pin-tail, blue-winged teal and other ducks migrating to Tennessee in winter, resulting in shorter hunting seasons.

These are among many possibilities that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency lists in a new report showing that significant change would be in store for the state and its residents — the people, plants and wildlife — with global warming. The report was issued last week as Congress debates climate change legislation that could provide funds for wildlife agencies to address potential impacts….

…Tennessee, known for its variety of species, has much to lose. It's home to 77 amphibian species, which include 21 types of frogs and 56 kinds of salamanders, which make it third in the nation for the most variety in amphibians, according to TWRA. And the slippery slope is already underfoot.

…Proposed strategies in the report include protecting key ecosystem features, such as stream banks and headwater streams, maintaining a mix of habitat types, restoring habitats and ecosystems with at-risk species and reforesting bottomland hardwoods that can sequester carbon. Also, monitoring of changes as they occur is recommended along with research to identify the species and ecosystems most vulnerable to climate change….

A Canadian goose and turtle at Radnor Lake in Nashville, Tennessee, shot by Kaldari, who has generously released the image into the public domain

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