Episode 408: Wild Winter Worlds
How do wildlife survive the tougher winter months? With cold temperatures and fewer food resources, the winter season can be challenging for a variety of wild animals. Some animals migrate to different areas, some hunker down for a long winter’s nap, and some simply continue their daily activities. This episode highlights how a variety of wildlife species adapt to winter and discusses a number of additional challenges wildlife face due to their human neighbors – including issues like climate change. Learn how we can minimize our impact on wildlife in an already difficult time of year.
In This Episode
A special thanks to all of our staff and guests in this episode of Untamed!
- Steve Living, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
- Michael Adkins, Wildlife Center of Virginia
- Kelsey Pleasants, Wildlife Center of Virginia
- Jeremy Hoffman, Science Museum of Virginia
- Wildlife species are adapted differently for the winter weather – some may stay put and remain active year-round, while others may hunker down and hibernate or brumate. Other species may simply leave the area for the season and return in the spring. Learn more about Virginia wildlife in winter:
- Interested in which birds migrate and which are year-round residents? Check out the Virginia Breeding Bird Atlas from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
- Watch episode 211 of UNTAMED to take a deeper dive into the world of bird migration. In Virginia, we have many bird species that migrate to Central and South America every winter, but we also have many species, including Bald Eagles, that migrate to Virginia!
- Does sleeping through winter sound appealing? Learn more here about the nuances of hibernation vs. brumation vs estivation.
- As our climate continues to change, we're learning more about how this impacts wildlife and their habitats:
- Emerging research suggests that some species of birds are laying eggs as much as a month earlier.
- Warming waters could pose problems for species like the brook trout -- who rely on healthy cold water streams.
- Emerging wildlife diseases and pathogens are other factors that affect humans, animals, and the environment.
- Interested in learning more about how to help wildlife in winter? While many people want to help wildlife find food resources, one of the best things you can do is skip the food handouts and provide habitat. The Department of Wildlife Resources has more information on providing habitats in a variety of landscapes.
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Here's What You Can Do
Each episode of Untamed leaves viewers with steps all of us can take to help protect wildlife and the environment.
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