Posted on December 16, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Some herds likely to lose most of their habitat as climate warms
Reindeer are adapted to life in cold, snowy climates. Photo courtesy USGS.
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Digging deep into the genetics of caribou populations, scientists said the animals could disappear from most of their range in southern and eastern Canada in the next 60 years, as climate change fragments habitat.
The study, published Dec. 15 in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that caribou populations in the most climatically stable areas had the greatest genetic diversity. Climate projections, combined with the new genetic data, suggest the animals won’t fare well in the coming in decades.
“Caribou can respond to habitat change in three ways,” said Kris Hundertmark, co-author and wildlife biologist-geneticist at the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “They can move to new, suitable habitat, adapt to the changed habitat or die. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, caribou, climate change, Reindeer, wildlife | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 7, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Tracking effort pays off, as police officers corral escaped critter
Runaway no more … Photo courtesy Dillon Police Department.
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Rudolf may be the most famous reindeer of all, but another one of Santa’s sled-pulling critters may become a local legend in Dillon after escaping from his corral during the town’s tree-lighting ceremony Thursday evening. Continue reading
Filed under: Colorado, Summit County Colorado | Tagged: Dillon Colorado, Dillon Police Department, Reindeer, Rudolf, Santa Claus, Summit County Colorado | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 18, 2013 by Bob Berwyn
Arctic foxes in Svalbard will feel the effects of global warming, as rain-on-snow events change the abundance of prey animals. Photo by Brage B. Hansen, NTNU Centre for Conservation Biology.
Norwegian researchers document cascading environmental impacts
By Summit Voice
FRISCO — Norwegian scientists say they’ve observed how climate-linked extreme weather events have affected not just single species, but an entire ecological community in the Arctic.
Rain-on-snow events caused synchronized population fluctuations among all vertebrate species in a relatively simple high arctic community, the scientists said after documenting how populations of three species crashed at the same time.
These findings, published in the Jan. 18 issue of Science, may be a bellwether of the radical changes in ecosystem stability that could result from anticipated future increases in extreme events. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, climate and weather, Environment, global warming, seasons, snow, Snow and weather | Tagged: Arctic, Arctic fox, climate change, Conservation biology, global warming, Reindeer, Rock Ptarmigan, Svalbard, wildlife | Leave a comment »