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

Maine Project

Assessing Priority Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) and Vulnerability to Climate Change in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (Collaborators: C. Loftin, P. deMaynadier, K. Barrett, P.Nanjappa)

January 2012 - January 2019


Participating Agencies

  • USFWS and Wildlife Management Institute

Amphibians and reptiles are experiencing severe habitat loss throughout North America; however, this threat to biodiversity can be mitigated by identifying and managing areas that serve a disproportionate role in sustaining herpetofauna. Identification of such areas must take into consideration the dynamic nature of habitat suitability. As climate rapidly changes it is possible that areas currently deemed suitable may no longer be so in the future. To address these needs, we will generate spatially-explicit data that will (1) identify Priority Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Areas (PARCAs) – those discrete areas most vital to maintaining reptile and amphibian diversity, (2) project regions of current and future climatic suitability for a number of priority reptiles and amphibians in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and (3) identify gaps in distributional data for these species that may prevent or inhibit the identification of species-level climatic suitability.

Research Publications Publication Date
Sutton, W.B., R. Barrett, A.T. Moody, C.S. Loftin, P. deMaynadier, and P. Nanjappa. 2015. Changes in climate niche and climate refugia of conservation priority salamander species: a case study from the northeastern United States. Forests 6:1-26. | Download January 2015