Weather and wildlife

Weather conditions have a variety of impacts on wildlife. Colder-than-usual temperatures can increase mortality rates during the winter months. Warmer-than-usual temperatures affect the migration timing of songbirds and waterfowl. Drought often limits food resources that are available to wildlife, while abundant precipitation may supply a bountiful feast of lush vegetation and numerous insects. The recent NOAA predictions give a head’s up that warm temperatures are likely for the next three months. What does this mean for wildlife management? Watch for young animals to be born or hatched earlier than normal. Warmer temperatures generally increase water needs, so be sure to maintain any supplemental water on your land in a condition that benefits wildlife. Thermal cover is also important in providing shade for wildlife to cool down on hot days. Good wildlife habitat includes a mix of cover types that meet the needs of your particular local species, whether the days be hot or cold, wet or dry.

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