Monday, September 11, 2017

Mammal Monday -- What happens to animals in a hurricane?

As we follow numerous hurricanes this season, you have to wonder "what happens to the animals?"  Zoos have learned from the past and have plans in place:

But what do wild animals do? Well, it turns out that some fare better than others.  We've all heard and perhaps seen that many animals seem to know when a storm is coming.  Have you ever noticed how the birds in your area start to eat a lot prior to a blizzard and then things get very quite just before the storm hits?  Sure, it's anecdotal evidence, but there's also research that shows how animals deal with changes in weather.  Animals that breed well after major rainfall (think of some types of toads) and animals that are scavengers and not picky about what they eat (think raccoons or rats) do pretty well.  Animals that can use fallen trees for nests or protection also recover relatively quickly.  The species that don't fare so well include:
  • sessile creatures -- these plants and animals can't move away
  • some marine mammals -- manatees and dolphin strandings have been on the news after Hurricane Irma
  • migrating animals that can be blown off course
  • endangered or threatened species -- they often have very limited habitats
  • sea turtles (also endangered) -- their nests can be destroyed in a hurricane
Want to learn more?  Check out this article in today's Telegraph:  What happens to wild animals in a hurricane - and which species do surprisingly well?

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