Scottish mountain bunnies are victims of human greed, aware of the dangers of climate change, but do not act in time. This causes suffering to wild animals, and the last victim is the Scottish Mountain hare. These animals experience a natural seasonal color change from brown to white. It is generally used as camouflage on snowy terrain.
However, global warming has shortened the duration of snow cover. In the mountains of Scotland the winters are less snowy. This seasonal shift makes hares vulnerable to predators.
A recent study shows that they cannot cope with the climate crisis.
According to The Independent UK, a team of scientists has been researching horseshoe rabbits in America for the first time. They also change colour when they are poured. It is a process in which animals shake off old coatings of feathers, hair or skin to produce new growth. Marketa Zimova from the University of Michigan led the study. Rabbits appear to have a higher degree of predation when they are badly camouflaged. The net result is a decrease in their population due to global warming and the associated loss of snow cover.
Effects of climate change on mountain hares in the United Kingdom
The team used data from the 1950s and 1960s to study the effects of climate change on hares in Scotland. They compared it to today.
The availability of previous data has helped the research team to understand this phenomenon. The team returned to the Scottish Highlands to continue their exploration. Type and time of moult were recorded. The data were spread over several spring and autumn seasons. The Independent UK adds that the team tried to make the study as comprehensive as possible.
They calculated the change in temperature based on snow cover over more than half a century.
Expert advice on climate change and brown hares
Independent UK emphasizes Scott Newey’s statements. He is an animal ecologist at the James Hutton Institute and co-author of the study. He stated that this condition indicates that some wildlife species are unable to adapt to the rapidly changing climate.
You have to pay for it. Л. Scott Mills is another co-author at the University of Montana. He shares Scott Newey’s concerns. Dr. Zimova, who is leading the study, is concerned about the inability of the species to adapt to climate change. This can have serious consequences, not only in terms of population decline, but also in terms of extinction.
Climate change is a threat to mountain hares in Scotland
According to Sky News, winter bunnies in Scotland can easily blend into their surroundings. This is when they lose their dark fur to whiteness. However, the animals are losing this advantage due to climate change. Global warming has led to more snow-free days. These animals cannot benefit from the camouflage of the snow and become prey for predators.
An analysis by the Office warns that only certain areas of the United Kingdom could still be affected by frost by 2080.
This situation is not new for wildlife, which find it difficult to adapt to the vagaries of nature as a result of human activities. In February 2018, the media reported on Arctic polar bears dying of hunger due to climate change. In September of this year there was a mass death of elephants in Botswana. Representatives of wild animals blamed climate change. The issue of climate change has been discussed in many international fora and countries have committed themselves to using renewable energy as an alternative to fossil fuels. Work in these areas deserves the highest priority. The international community must recognise the seriousness of this problem.
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