Climate change is one of the most serious long-term threats to healthy populations of fish and wildlife in Oregon and globally. The effects of global climate change on wildlife and habitats include not only the direct impacts of changing temperatures, but also:
- Earlier arrival of spring conditions and changes in the timing of biological events such as migration, reproduction, and flowering, potentially leading to mismatches in the life cycles of interdependent species;
- Rising sea levels, leading to increased coastal erosion, coastal and river-mouth flooding, saltwater intrusion into coastal freshwater
- wetlands and water tables, and loss of estuary wetlands and other coastal habitats;
- Arrival of new pests and pathogens and increased insect damage from existing pests in some forest ecosystems;
- Increased introduction, spread, and dominance of invasive plant and animal species;
- Drying of some wetlands and headwater streams, and;
- Acidification of ocean waters and changes in plant photosynthesis as the direct result of increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.