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Winter 2009

 

 

Cosmo the flying Squirrel Wild for Kids Terra the river otter

BIODIVERSITY IN WINTER

Where is Pennsylvania’s biodiversity in winter? Look at all that snow! Where is the wildlife? Wildlife has many adaptations for harsh winter conditions. Winter is not only cold, but it is also dry, because the water is frozen. Wildlife food  may be hidden under the snowcover. In some wild animals, like the red fox (right), their fur becomes thicker and more insulating. They can curl up and sleep warmly, even in the snow.

red fox asleep
Mouse in log During winter, the white-footed mouse (left) may make a warm nest in a hollow log or a vacant bird box. Mice  make tunnels through and under the snow and stay active, feeding on buried seeds and vegetation. Right after a snowfall, the ground looks like a blank page. But wait a day or two and just see what has walked across your yard, at the park or in a local woods! You may find the tracks of birds (below, ruffed grouse), squirrels, rabbits, night-roaming opossums and much more!
grouse tracks

 

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