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The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change

Part of the Climate Change Management book series (CCM)

Abstract

The need for connectivity across large areas has long been a core principle in the field of conservation biology. Whereas early rationales for conserving connectivity included the maintenance of genetic health and the protection of ecosystem processes, the more recently recognized threat posed by climate change to biodiversity has only amplified the focus on connectivity. Within the last decade, the term “large landscape conservation” has become a generic term applied to efforts intended to align on-the-ground conservation programs with the scale of the potential changes resulting from climate change. An early example of such an approach was the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), spanning the Rocky Mountains between Canada and the United States. First conceived in the early 1990s, Y2Y connoted not only a region, but also a science & advocacy network, a conservation organization, and—particularly in its early years—a challenge to the conservation community to broaden its vision of what will be required for effective wildlife conservation over the coming century. This includes consideration of how, under conditions of climate change, biological communities may disarticulate and then reorganize across time and space, and of the consequent need for intact land conservation networks to allow species to move through increasingly human-occupied landscapes. Accordingly, a key aspect of the programmatic work under Y2Y focuses on protecting ecologically intact landscapes as a core approach to effective biodiversity conservation. Today, Y2Y has become widely cited for its groundbreaking efforts to expand the conceptual scale of effective conservation landscapes in North America and the world.

Keywords

  • Yellowstone to yukon conservation initiative
  • Y2Y
  • Climate change
  • Rocky mountains
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Large landscape conservation

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Weblinks to these institutions can be found at http://ieinfo.net/geo-na-y2y.html.

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Chester, C.C., Hilty, J.A. (2019). The Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change. In: Leal Filho, W., Barbir, J., Preziosi, R. (eds) Handbook of Climate Change and Biodiversity. Climate Change Management. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-98681-4_11

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