Skip to main content
The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Development of The Wildlife Adaptation Menu


Olivia LeDee

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
April 14


For two decades, there has been a rapid acceleration of research on climate change effects on biodiversity and potential adaptation strategies to limit adverse changes. There have also been important contributions from researchers and practitioners to synthesize and structure recommended adaptation strategies. However, most adaptation recommendations are of limited use because they are too broad (e.g., protect large landscapes, create buffer zones), reflect current practices (e.g., reduce non-climate stressors), or are beyond the purview of an individual wildlife manager (e.g., increase connectivity). To advance climate change adaptation and management for wildlife, it is imperative to provide actionable recommendations for both population and habitat management. Importantly, recommendations should address not only vulnerable wildlife species, but also species that may benefit from climate change and increase the potential for human-wildlife conflict. To advance these goals, we conducted a comprehensive review of over 1300 peer-reviewed articles for adaptation actions suitable for wildlife management in terrestrial ecosystems. We identified primary strategies—11 related to population management and eight related to habitat management. We then identified numerous targeted actions—approaches and tactics— for each primary strategy. Finally, we engaged wildlife managers to develop the final product, a menu of adaptation actions, to inform planning and management decisions in an accessible format. To date, the menu has informed the development of 27 wildlife adaptation projects and will be further shared with natural resource managers in the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center /Northern Forest Station region through workshops, meetings, and web portals.