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Table 3 Table of observed changes in resource use

From: Using traditional ecological knowledge to understand and adapt to climate and biodiversity change on the Pacific coast of North America

ObservationChanges seenImpactsResponsesExample participant perspective
Shift in species composition/changes in migratory patterns of current species+ Species shifting or expanding range more common than completely new species
+ Small migrating birds staying for the winter (robins and blue jays)
+ Moose coming from mainland
+ New species present
+ Species moved from where usually are
+ New species to harvest
+ Hard to find species when they’ve moved
‘Something’s going on…difference in the air, and just last week…the robins are still here…crash into my bay window…I said ‘you rascals,’ you’re supposed to be headed down south, what are you doing here?…and bluejays, and…I find that really, really strange, especially after that big thunderstorm, we had a little flurry of snow, about a month ago…everybody was shocked, and, so there’s things happening in the air that [are] unexplainable…the birds are not leaving’ (HC, Hartley Bay)
New species appearing+ Mostly linked to extreme weather events, such as ‘unseasonably’ cold or warm years
+ Tropical fish
+ Can interfere with usual species
+ New resources to hunt/fish for
+ Changes species harvested‘So we are starting to see more fish from the south, from California, and we never did before’ (AB, Old Massett)
Species disappearing+ More species declined than completely disappeared+ Less available for harvesting+ Limit harvesting‘Our birds are less and less…you don’t see them in the flocks that we used to see them’ (WC, Hoonah)
Changes in behaviour+ Whales coming closer to shore, behaviour they exhibit when it’s stormy
+ Salmon swimming deeper (because of warmer water temperatures, to get to cold water)
+ Declines in salmon fecundity due to lower water levels (Scannell 1992)
+ Deer moving further away from human development and up mountains (less inhibited with lower snowfall), harder to hunt
+ Fewer salmon to harvest, shared and put up for winter
+ Harder to hunt deer
+ Changed resource use and sharing
+ Changed ceremonies—not able to use deer, salmon or other traditional meats in potlatches
‘We’re watching the whales down there, and the whales…for us, they are [a] weather…sign…and that would be blackfish or killer whale…so when they are going past the village, the old people will say they are headed out to the ocean, they are going to feed on the ocean…and they call the Pacific the big sea…in our language, and it’s calm and now they are able to go out and gather, they got all the room in the world, and so then when they come in and go past the village, that means the Pacific is acting up…and they are coming into feed…close to shore, because there’s a storm coming, and so they’re coming in’ (HC, Hartley Bay)
Diseases+ Higher levels of red tide due to warm water
+ Higher rates of worms and flies in deer and fish when preserving by drying and smoking, and in harvested berries, due to warmer autumn temperatures
+ New varieties of pests around plant resources
+ Meat and berries of lower quality+ People can harvest/use less‘The sockeye, when, the warmer the water the more worms they get in their stomach’ (AB, Old Massett)
Size of plant or animal+ Fish getting smaller (also linked to overfishing and pollution, not just climate change)+ Same limits, so overall less food+ People don’t have as much fish to eat‘And they are getting smaller… one year they had 31 lb [14.1 kg], and then 29 lb [13.2 kg], last year it was 27 lb [12.2 kg] won it, this year it’s 26 [11.8 kg]’ (MB, Juneau)
Quantity of resource+ Flowers blooming earlier, either vulnerability to frosts damaging flowers, or less pollination occurring, meaning less fruit
+ Deer are moving higher into the mountains due to less snow, and away from development
+ Salmon are moving deeper in the water, under the nets
+ Fewer berries, deer and salmon
+ More difficult to harvest
+ Don’t go out to pick berries
+ Changed ceremonies—using store-bought berries in potlatches instead
+ Drive into mountains, or hunt from boats, wait for a snow to drive deer down in elevation
+ Fishing closer to the river
‘Well, right now, it’s kind of extreme, like, right now, we see [salmonberry] blossoms out and we’re in January…and, that means we won’t have berries again…because there’s no bees around’ (RD, Old Massett)
‘Depends on the weather, eh? If there’s not much snow, then all the deers’ up in the mountains… not too many people want to climb…and if there’s snow we can get it on the beach, just travel on a boat and get our deer’ (WB, Kake)
‘We’ve been having a hard time catching a lot of fish sometimes, because…they are staying deeper then they normally, and they aren’t showing and jumping and behaving like they usually do, because the fresh water is so warm due to the lack of snow pack up there, melting’ (AC, Hydaburg)
Quality of resource+ Too much rain = fruit rot before ripening, or swollen with water and not fully ripening (not maximum sugar potential, no taste)
+ Not enough rain (or not at the right times) = berries shrivel up and desiccate
+ With lack of food, deer are leaner, and have a lower quality meat
+ Fewer berries
+ People don’t want to harvest poor quality meat
+ Don’t go out to pick berries
+ Changed ceremonies—using store-bought berries in potlatches instead
+ Less deer eaten
‘It did rain a lot this year, so I think that’s made a difference in our berries, it’s rotted a lot of them…mildew got to them’ (WC, Hoonah)
Women like fatty meat, better for salting (HC, Hartley Bay)