The effects of mild winters on wildlife

This article is cross-posted from RUE contributor Katherine Forster’s blog ‘dandelions and concrete‘. Katherine recently relocated to Lindsay, Ontario to learn about natural ecosystems, the restoration of wildlife habitat and how to live in harmony with nature.

Really interesting articles from both the Guardian and the Star on the milder weather and how it messes with the normal migration and hibernation patterns of wildlife. Here’s a excerpt from The Star:

“Voles, for example, live under a thick snow covering to stay warm. Without it, the small rodents are exposed directly to cold air temperatures as they hunker down in forests…

Toninger says snowy owls, which have been spotted in Tommy Thompson Park along the Leslie Street Spit, come south now and then, probably prompted not by weather patterns but by a low lemming count up north.

And insects? Some in this area are highly cold-tolerant, but it’s unknown what repeated freeze-thaw cycles might have on their survival rates and the fitness of offspring, says Brent Sinclair, an assistant professor in the University of Western Ontario’s department of biology.”

Links to both articles:

Winter Wildlife Hibernation – The Guardian

Wildlife and Nature At Risk: The Star

Photo Taken From the Guardian Article (Original Photograph: Arterra Picture Library/Alamy)

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The effects of mild winters on wildlife

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