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Climate change effects on deer and moose in the midwest

March 4, 2019

Climate change is an increasing concern for wildlife managers across the United States and Canada. Because climate change may alter populations and harvest dynamics of key species in the region, midwestern states have identified the effects of climate change on ungulates as a priority research area. We conducted a literature review of projected climate change in the Midwest and the potential effects on white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and moose (Alces alces). Warmer temperatures and decreasing snowpack in the region favor survival of white‐tailed deer. In contrast, moose may become physiologically stressed in response to warming, and increasing deer populations spreading disease will exacerbate the problem. Although there is some uncertainty about exactly how the climate will change, and to what degree, robust projections suggest that deer populations will increase in response to climate change and moose populations will decrease. Managers can begin preparing for these changes by proactively creating management plans that take this into account.

Publication Year 2019
Title Climate change effects on deer and moose in the midwest
DOI 10.1002/jwmg.21649
Authors Sarah R. Weiskopf, Olivia E. LeDee, Laura M. Thompson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Index ID 70202448
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center; National Climate Adaptation Science Center