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Fighting Climate Change

Climate change is already having significant impacts on fish and game animals and their habitats.

Snowy Mallard: Cara Litberg

Hunters and anglers are on the front lines of climate change, as many sportsmen and women are already seeing the effects of climate change on their hunting and fishing opportunities, and are very concerned about what climate change means to the future of our sports. How we address the challenges of global climate change now will dictate the sporting opportunities for future generations. Climate change poses an immediate and specific threat to hunting and fishing in America, challenging the traditions and values of sportsmen, their respect for the land, and the legacy they leave to future generations. 

Hunters and anglers need to act swiftly to protect our hunting and fishing heritage. We must cut the carbon pollution that currently is on track to cause significant warming by mid-century. Carbon emissions can be addressed by implementing the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. Carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants, refineries, and vehicles is causing a warming climate that poses the single most urgent threat to the future of America’s rich community of fish and game. 

Climate Impacts on Wildlife and Habitats

Many of America’s iconic game species face the risks of climate change, such as the northern bobwhite, brook trout, pintail, moose, sage grouse, lesser scaup, and many more. The dangers include:

  • Increased incidence of extreme weather events including drought, flooding, warming winters and catastrophic fires that drastically alter and destroy habitat.
  • Sea level rise of up to two feet, threatening people in heavily-populated coastal communities and wildlife-rich coastal habitats, such as the Chesapeake Bay, Coastal Florida, and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Major declines and extinctions in coldwater fish such as trout and salmon as water temperatures rise
  • Substantial declines in estuaries and wetlands
  • Changes in habitat, food sources and migration patterns for America’s waterfowl, particularly in the prairie pothole region.

Featured Reports

Game Changers: Air Pollution, a Warming Climate, and the Troubled Future for America’s Hunting and Fishing Heritage

On Thin Ice: Warming Winters Put America's Hunting and Fishing Heritage at Risk

 Nowhere to Run: Big Game Wildlife in a Warming World

How the National Wildlife Federation is Fighting Climate Impacts

The National Wildlife Federation works with America’s sportsmen and women to identify and advocate for the tools and resources wildlife management agencies, outdoor enthusiasts, policy makers and others need to monitor fish and wildlife resources and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Safeguarding Wildlife
Climate change is altering key habitats that are critical to wildlife survival and putting natural resources in jeopardy. As America's first conservationists, the National Wildlife Federation and sportsmen have been at the forefront of the climate debate to take significant action to protect wildlife.

Learn more about the National Wildlife Federation's work to safeguard wildlife from climate change.



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