System for Assessing Vulnerability of Species (SAVS) Climate Change Tool


The tool uses 22 criteria about vulnerability and responses of the species in questionaire. This provides a framework for assessing vulnerability to climate change by focusing on the effects. The questionaire should be completed using reputable information from a variety of sources. The scores produced from the questionaire identify specific characteristics and vulnerability concerns that are unique to a species which informs management planning.

What Is It?

  • 22 predictive criteria questionaire
  • Four assessed categories: habitat, physiology, phenology, and biotic interactions
  • Calculated scores indicating overall vulnerability for each category


    • Assesses a single species in a specific climate zone
    • Multiple assessments of species allows management to rank species by vulnerability
    • Identifies issues of greatest vulnerability that may need management action
    • Improves identification of conservation targets
    • Aids in dialogue on climate change challenges and species management


    • Effectiveness and applicability depend on the quality of information used to conduct the questionaire
    • Scoring needs adjustment for migratory species who spend a signicant amount of time outside the target climate zone
    • Scores are not weighted by relative influnce of importance of each criteria
    • Quality and quantity of information available varies for each species

Expertise Needed

  • Famimiarity with the assessed species
  • Familiarity with the scoring systems of the questionaire

Types of Data Needed

  • Climate projections for the target region
  • Species data

How Do I Get It?

SAVS Climate Change Tool

Related Methods

Predictive modeling is a technique that creates a model that can be used to project the future of hypothetical conditions. Models can be used to compare predicted impacts vs. actual impacts of a behavior or to perform an experiment that would not be feasible in the real world.
Use of data that was collected by individuals other than the investigator. This includes newspapers, census data, maps, etc. Secondary data analysis is often a starting point for other social science research methods.

Related Partners

The Forest Service was established in 1905 and is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres.