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For bears and hares, recent mild weather is a mixed bag
El Nino boon for some, trouble for others
W Delayed Winter Wildli Ledb
This Nov. 30, 2015 photo provided by Norm and Kristina Senna shows a black bear on a trail in Georgia, Vt. The lack of snow is contributing to delayed hibernation for some black bears and making snowshoe hares conspicuous to predators. Access to food is keeping some out of their winter dens and has prompted officials in Vermont and Massachusetts to urge residents to wait for snow before putting up bird feeders to avoid attracting bears. - photo by Associated Press
MONTPELIER, Vt. — For now, the El Nino-driven mild weather is a boon to some wildlife, which are able to forage for more food and are using less energy surviving, experts say. But for some species — like snowshoe hares, whose white fur makes them conspicuous to predators — the lack of snow isn't good news. Access to food, such as nuts and apples, which have been abundant but are now getting scarce, has kept some black bears active and out of their winter dens.
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