Report Shows Climate Could Be Affecting Wyoming Wildlife

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Report Shows Climate Could Be Affecting Wyoming Wildlife

The National Wildlife Federation released a report Wednesday that shows how critters in Wyoming, large and small, are being affected by the climate. The research examined how species, such as grizzly bears, sage grouse and butterflies, are being impacted by a changing climate. Report author Amanda Staudt says many animals have shifted their ranges – mostly north, as springs arrive sooner.

Intense wildfires are also another impact listed in the report. Staudt points out that most critters have the ability to adapt, but they're often hindered by fences, roads, or other development. The report features the whitebark pine beetle problems. Staudt says outbreaks have intensified because of milder winter temperatures – and the trees don’t suffer in isolation.

She says the grizzlies have fewer cubs when the whitebark pine nut supply is low, and there are more conflicts with humans as the bears seek out new food sources. The report recommends solutions. First, more policies to reduce climate change pollution. Second, a focus on making sure wildlife have pathways to move to new habitats.

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