Photo: Warming Creating Extinction Risks for Hibernators



A marmot peers out from a grass-lined rock enclosure in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park.

Scientists have found that marmots in the Rockies are ending their hibernation a month earlier on average that they did 30 years ago, as springs come earlier and winters grow warmer.

The research is part of large and growing body of work showing that global warming may be putting hibernating animals at risk for extinction by rousing them from their slumbers prematurely, before they can find enough food or sufficient protection from predators.

Photograph by James L. Amos/NGS


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