Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, who calls such hares "mismatched," told Sommer, "They really think that they're camouflaged. They act like we can't see them. And it's pretty embarrassing for the hare. If the hares are consistently molting at the same time, year after year, and the snowfall comes later and melts earlier, there's going to be more and more times when hares are mismatched."
Research is being led by Scott Mills, of North Carolina State University. "He says they're finding that mismatched hares die at higher rates. That's a concern for the threatened Canada lynx, which mainly eats these hares," Sommer writes. "Mills is trying to figure out whether hares and other wildlife can adapt as fast as the climate is changing." Mills told Sommer, "It's a picture that paints a thousand words. It's a very clear connection to a single climate-change stressor." (Read more)