Evolutionary Clock Ticks for Snowshoe Hares Facing Climate Change

Snowshoe hares that camouflage themselves by changing their coats from brown in summer to white in winter face serious threats from climate change, and it's uncertain whether hare populations will be able to adapt in time, according to a North Carolina State University study.

Based on field research with radio-collared snowshoe hares in Montana, mismatched snowshoe hares suffer a 7 percent drop in their weekly survival rate when snow comes late or leaves early and white hares stand out to predators like "light bulbs" against their snowless backgrounds.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-01/ncsu-ect011516.php

ND Parks and Recreation Department

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