Stillaguamish Vulnerability Assessment

Full Title

Assessing the Climate Vulnerability of Key Species and Habitats for the Stillaguamish Tribe

Project Overview

Climate change is projected to significantly impact ecosystems, habitats, and species of importance to the Stillaguamish Tribe, via changes in species distributions; the productivity, composition, and distribution of vegetation communities; and the timing of biological events (e.g., flowering, breeding, and migration). The Climate Impacts Group completed a detailed climate change vulnerability assessment of priority species and habitats for the Stillaguamish Tribe. We worked with the Tribe to develop a list of priority species and habitats based on current, historic, and anticipated future use by the Tribe. The majority of species and habitats were assessed at the scale of the Stillaguamish Watershed, while a subset were assessed at the larger scale of the Tribe’s ceded area.

We used the NatureServe Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to quantitatively assess climate change vulnerability for 40 priority species. For 17 species and 10 habitat types, data gaps prevented quantitative CCVI analysis and climate change vulnerability was assessed qualitatively (low, medium, high) based on sensitivity to climate change and projected exposure to climate change within the Stillaguamish watershed. Species and habitats were assessed for both the 2050s and the 2080s; using both a moderate (A1B) and high (A2) emissions scenario.

The vulnerability assessment was completed in February 2016.

Key Findings

  • 2050s | Moderate Emissions Scenario: None of the species analyzed quantitatively were categorized as Extremely Vulnerable. The Canada lynx was categorized as Highly Vulnerable.
  • 2080s | Moderate Emissions Scenario: 8 out of the 40 animal species analyzed quantitatively were categorized as Extremely Vulnerable: bull trout, steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, Canada lynx, mountain goat, wolverine, and the western pond turtle. 5 species were categorized as Highly Vulnerable: marbled murrelet, northern flying squirrel, Oregon spotted frog, spotted owl, and the western grebe.


  • Final report detailing how climate change may impact species and habitats important to the Stillaguamish Tribe.
  • Quick-reference fact sheets for each of the assessed species and habitat types, highlighting CCVI results, primary climate sensitivities, a brief assessment of potential additional impacts from climatic changes not considered by the CCVI, and key information gaps.


Krosby, M.,H. Morgan, M. Case, and L. Whitely Binder. 2016. Stillaguamish Tribe Natural Resources Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. Report prepared for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians by the Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle.

Key Personnel

For more information on this project, contact lead researcher Meade Krosby.

Key Collaborators

Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Natural Resources Department


Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, Natural Resources Department

Back to Top