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Posted Sat Feb 5 2011: from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Wolverines threatened by climate change
The wolverine - a member of the weasel family that resembles a small bear - could disappear from the US as a direct result of man-made climate change, according to predictions by researchers at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The wolverine is unique among mammals in that it is heavily dependent on spring snow pack. Deep snow is required for successful wolverine reproduction because female wolverines dig elaborate dens in the snow for their offspring. These dens are not only insulating for the newborn kits, but also protect them from predators. "While other species such as the Arctic fox or caribou are adapted to snow, their relationship with snow is not as critical as that of the wolverine," NCAR's Synte Peacock told environmentalresearchweb. "Other species may be able to adapt if there is no spring snow, but without dens, the wolverine cannot reproduce."... "The impact of their disappearance would probably be relatively low and it is possible that the wolverine may continue to thrive in parts of Canada and Scandinavia where conditions are cold year-round and snow cover persists throughout spring."
[Read more stories about: predator depletion, ecosystem interrelationships, global warming]
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