Professors Research Effect of Warming on Dall’s Sheep in Alaska and Canada
April 01, 2021
Changes in Arctic habitats brought on by global warming could adversely affect Dall’s sheep in Alaska and Canada, according to a new paper published in PLOS One by University of Idaho researchers. Assistant Research Professor of Landscape and Wildlife Ecology Jocelyn Aycrigg, Professor of Wildlife Ecology Janet Rachlow and Professor Emeritus of Wildlife Ecology and Statistics Edward O. Garton of the College of Natural Resources Department of Fish and Wildlife Sciences show that habitat selected by Dall’s sheep is influenced by snow depth and cover, temperature and avoidance of shrubs. Read more.
Dall’s sheep prefer to live in areas with wide open views, so they can see predators. The encroachment of shrubs — which is indirectly related to changes in the Arctic climate — may lead to changes in their use of preferred habitat, according to the paper.
In the face of a warming planet and the vegetation changes that may result, Dall’s sheep — which are well adapted to Arctic environments — may struggle to balance their needs and find the habitat they require to survive, the researchers said.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at uidaho.edu