Color-changing animals are adapting to climate change

Feb 19, 2018, 6:43 AM EST
(Source: David Whelan/flickr)
(Source: David Whelan/flickr)

Twenty-one species of mammals and birds disguise themselves with changing seasonal coat color to evade predators. Brown coats that blend with snowless grounds in the summer turn white in winters to stay obscure in surroundings, a tactic that’s undergoing a subtle shift in response to climate change.

As “hotspots” witness delayed winters and shorter spans of snow cover, animals such as weasels in the southern U.S. and mountain hares in Ireland, are retaining their brown hue all winter as an adaptation to climate change, writes Research Gate.

A new study published in the journal, Science, calls for the protection of landscapes where such evolution is happening as it would allow winter-white and winter-brown animals to connect and propagate the more protective, darker coat genes, boosting conservation efforts, notes National Geographic.