Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Wildlife
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wisconsin Wildlife Project

Wisconsin's wildlife and a changing climate

September 2009 - September 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Wisconsin DNR
  • NE CSC
  • Cooeprative Units Headquarters
  • USFWS Region 3
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison

Grassland ecosystems originally dominated central North America, but now, prairies in general, and tall-grass prairies in particular, are one of the most extensively human-altered ecosystems and one of the most vulnerable to changing climate. Grassland bird conservation focuses on habitat restoration, but there is little understanding of how effects of changing climate on grassland birds might be mitigated by management actions. Understanding if habitat microclimates might help nesting grassland birds avoid some of the impacts from events such as drought and heat waves will help inform the development of new habitat management strategies for grassland birds. This project is a collaboration across multiple organizations and includes the USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, US Fish and Wildlife Service, non-governmental organizations, and State natural resource managers in Wisconsin. A report documenting the importance of habitat microclimates for grassland bird productivity will be developed to inform natural resource managers in Wisconsin.

Research Publications Publication Date
Zuckerberg, B., C.A. Ribic, and L.A. McCauley. 2018. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size. Conservation Biology 32:872-882. August 2018
McCauley, L.A., C.A. Ribic, L.Y. Pomara, and B. Zuckerberg. 2017. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change. Landscape Ecology 32: 807-821. November 2017
LeDee, O.E., W.H. Karasov, K.J. Martin, M.W. Meyer, C.A. Ribic, and T.R. Van Deelen. 2011. Envisioning the future of wildlife in a changing climate: collaborative learning for adaptation planning. Wildlife Bulletin 35: 508-513. January 2012
LeDee, O.E., S. Hagell, K. Martin, D. McFarland, M. Meyer, A. Paulios, C. A. Ribic, D. Sample, and T. Van Deelen. 2013. Climate change impacts on Wisconsin’s wildlife: a preliminary assessment. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Technical Bulletin No. 197. December 2013
LeDee, O.E. and C.A. Ribic. 2015. Determining candidates for climate change management action: a case study from Wisconsin. Journal of Conservation Planning 11:1-12. January 2015
Hagell, S. and C.A. Ribic. 2014. Barriers to climate-adaptive wildlife management: A survey of researchers and managers in Wisconsin. Wildlife Society Bulletin 38: 672-681. December 2014