Warming Arctic is foe & friend for its snowy owls

Dec 21, 2018, 7:30 AM EST
(Source: Tony Hisgett/flickr)
(Source: Tony Hisgett/flickr)

Snowy owls, the iconic natives of the Arctic, are irrupting in Eastern Ontario for the past six years, a trend birders attribute to the “cozy” warming of their habitats. The rare sightings are more of a delightful norm these days in North America, but the underlying reason is “unsettling.”

With rising temperatures, the Arctic region is undergoing drastic ecosystem transitions and has many pockets covered with green vegetation, an ideal feed for rodents, the main primary prey for snowy owls, writes Eco Watch.

A lavish prey base has spurred the population of snowy owls, resulting in a fierce competition among the individuals. The weaker ones, who fail to hunt, head to the south, meaning that the new pattern is arguably engineered by climate change, reports Ottawa Citizen.

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