Cold, Snow Impacts Wild Animals

By: Clare Kaley Email
By: Clare Kaley Email

That cold has been rough on our roadways, vehicles, and let's face it, our moods as well. However, it's also impacting our wildlife in a very dangerous way.

Eric Anderson, Wildlife Ecology professor at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, said the deer and turkey population will be impacted the most by the cold and snow.

Anderson said they have trouble getting to the food under the thick layer of snow, and since its so cold outside, their bodies demand more food for energy. Anderson said if it seems like you have not seen many deer around lately, you're right, they've had to stay on the move for any hopes of survival.

"They have to start forging out from there and starting to get food from elsewhere, because they've exhausted what's available to them in the deer yard," Anderson said, "and once that happens, they become vulnerable to wolves attacking them, the energy to slop through deep snow becomes enormous for them."

Not only are the deer and turkey populations suffering this winter, he said it could impact hunting prospects for the next few seasons.

Anderson said he'd be surprised if the antler-less hunting list does not get cut down dramatically next year. If you're wondering if you can help, Anderson said there's not much you can do. These animals can't rely on help from humans.

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