Assessing Species Vulnerability
   

The endangered Bradshaw’s desert-parsley (Lomatium bradshawii) is believed to be moderately vulnerable and highly sensitive to climate change (photo: DNR).
 Endangered Lomatium bradshawii (yellow) is
 believed to be moderately vulnerable and  highly
sensitive to climate change (photo: DNR).

The aim of NatureServe’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI)   is to provide a means of rapidly distinguishing species likely to be most vulnerable to change, defined as the degree to which a species is susceptible to detrimental change (Young et al. 2012). The index considers two primary components of a species’ vulnerability to climate change: exposure to changes in climate and sensitivity of the species to changes in climate.
 
The CCVI scores a species on 17 factors related to its anticipated vulnerability to climate change, such as dispersal ability and habitat specificity. Vulnerability incorporates a species' sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Dawson et al. 2011 ). Four factors addressing indirect exposure to climate change, such as presence in areas likely to be affected by rising sea levels are also evaluated. When available, documented responses to climate change (from prior field and/or modeling studies) are also included. The outcome is one of six possible Index categories: three degrees of “Vulnerable” (Extremely, Highly, Moderately), two degrees of “Not Vulnerable” (Presumed Stable, Increase Likely), and “Insufficient Evidence”. The Index also provides a report on the key factors that have contributed to the ranking, which can help inform conservation actions.
 
The Washington Natural Heritage Program also assessed the climate change sensitivity (Case et al. 2015) for several species. This assessment considers nine factors, including a species’ physiology, life history, habitat, and non-climatic stressors. These factors were then used to calculate an over-all sensitivity score, with 100 being the highest level of sensitivity. When available, these assessments are included in the table, below.
 
The results are summarized in the table, below, and reports are available for each of the species. Additional species will be added as assessments are completed for them. Species are listed first by group, then alphabetically by scientific name.
 
Click on a species' CCVI or CCSD score to open the assessment report (PDF).
 
  Element
  Scientific Name
  Element
  Common Name
  CCVI
  Score
  CCSD
  Score
 Element
Rank1
Vascular Plants        
Allium dictuon Blue Mountain onion Presumed
Stable
  G2S2
Artemisia campestris var. wormskioldii Wormskiold's northern
wormwood
Moderately Vulnerable 60
High
G5T1S1
Astragalus sinuatus Whited's milk-vetch Presumed
Stable
  G1S1
Bolandra oregana Oregon bolandra Moderately Vulnerable   G3S2
Botrychium lineare skinny moonwort Presumed
Stable
  G2G3S1
Botrychium paradoxum two-spiked moonwort Presumed
Stable
  G3G4S2
Castilleja levisecta golden paintbrush Presumed
Stable
62
High
G2S2
Corydalis aquae-gelidae Clackamas corydalis Moderately Vulnerable   G5T3S2
Delphinium viridescens Wenatchee larkspur Moderately Vulnerable   G2S2
Dodecatheon austrofrigidum frigid shooting-star Moderately Vulnerable   G2S1
Erigeron howellii Howell's daisy Presumed
Stable
  G2S2
Eriogonum codium Umtanum desert buckwheat Presumed
Stable
48
Medium
G1S1
Erythronium quinaultense Quinault fawn-lily Presumed
Stable
  G1G2S2
Hackelia venusta showy stickseed Moderately Vulnerable 42
Medium
G1S1
Howellia aquatilis water howellia Highly
Vulnerable
71
High
G3S2
Iliamna longisepala longsepal globemallow Presumed
Stable
  G3S3
Lomatium bradshawii Bradshaw's desert-parsley Moderately Vulnerable 60
High
G2S1
Lomatium suksdorfii Suksdorf's desert-parsley Presumed
Stable
  G3S3
Lupinus oreganus var. kincaidii Kincaid's sulfur lupine Presumed
Stable
55
Medium
G4T2S1S2
Penstemon barrettiae Barrett's beardtongue Presumed
Stable
  G2S2S3
Physaria douglasii ssp. tuplashensis White Bluffs bladderpod Moderately Vulnerable 54
Medium
G2QS1S2
Polemonium pectinatum Washington polemonium Moderately Vulnerable   G2S2
Sidalcea hirtipes hairy-stemmed checker-mallow Moderately Vulnerable   G2S2
Sidalcea nelsoniana Nelson's checker-mallow Presumed
Stable
53
Medium
G2G3S1
Sidalcea oregana var. calva Wenatchee Mountain
checker-mallow
Moderately Vulnerable 47
Medium
G5T1S1?
Silene spaldingii Spalding's silene Moderately Vulnerable 59
High
G2S2
Sisyrinchium sarmentosum pale blue-eyed grass Highly
Vulnerable
  G2S3
Spiranthes diluvialis Ute ladies' tresses Moderately Vulnerable 59
High
G2G3S1
Sullivantia oregana Oregon sullivantia Moderately Vulnerable   G2S1
Trifolium douglasii Douglas' clover Moderately Vulnerable   G2S1
Trifolium thompsonii Thompson's clover Presumed
Stable
  G3S3
1The Element Ranks listed here are current as of 08/15/2017 and may have changed since the CCVI or CCSD scores were determined. For more information on determining species’ ranks, visit our Natural Heritage Methodology page.
 
Citations and Additional Resources
 
 
Young B.E., Hall K.R., Byers E., Gravuer K., Hammerson G., Redder A., and Szabo K. 2012. Rapid assessment of plant and animal vulnerability to climate change. In: J. Brodie, E. Post, and D. Doak, editors. Wildlife Conservation in a Changing Climate. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p 129-152.