Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, National Wildlife Federation, and Virginia Conservation Network have developed Virginia’s Strategy for Safeguarding Virginia’s Species of Greatest Conservation Need from the Effects of Climate Change.

This strategy was created to provide initial guidance on actions Virginia’s conservation community can implement immediately to enhance the conservation of wildlife and habitats in the face of climate change while more comprehensive adaptation strategies are developed. While these actions may help secure species from further short-term declines, they are not offered to preclude a more robust planning process to resolve the myriad issues that must be addressed if Virginia is going to successfully create and implement a long-term climate adaptation strategy.

Now that we have a strategy, the difficult work of implementation begins. We are already moving forward on a number of efforts including: searching for new financial resources, suggesting useful modifications to Virginia’s Endangered Species Act, exploring collaborative conservation opportunities, collecting public attitude information, and conducting a climate change vulnerability assessment. And we are already thinking about how we can use what we learn to develop a better action plan in 2015.