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

Minnesota Project

Predicting the future of aquatic species in Minnesota

July 2023 - June 2026


Participating Agencies

  • 2023 Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund Appropriations

Native aquatic species have had their ranges impacted by habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species, harvest, and other anthropogenic impacts. Each year the state of Minnesota spends millions of dollars on the conservation of aquatic native species. A booming economy relies on the state’s natural resources, with the outdoor recreation economy alone valued at $16.7 billion in 2022. The climate in Minnesota is predicted to continue changing substantially throughout this century, average annual temperature across the state has already increased nearly 3℉ since the late 1800s. To support the goal of Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources, that ‘the benefits of all Minnesota’s natural resources are enjoyed by all Minnesotans’, it is important to anticipate and plan for likely future scenarios. By identifying native aquatic species most likely to be impacted by future climate change, and geographic areas with high levels of species change, management agencies can better focus their resources to protect and conserve these aquatic species in areas that will be most suited to them, for the benefit of Minnesota’s future. We will predict the ranges of native aquatic species in Minnesota using recently available high quality datasets and information on past and present ranges coupled with powerful statistical techniques.