New Publication: Climate Change Effects on Deer and Moose

Thursday, March 7, 2019

  NE CASC Interim Federal Director Olivia LeDee contributed to a new study, Climate change effects on deer and moose in the Midwest, entailing a literature review of projected climate change in the Midwest and the potential effects on white‐tailed deer and moose.

  Although factors such as land‐use change, disease, and invasive species represent some of the greatest threats to wildlife effects of recent climatic changes and their interaction with other threats is an increasing concern for managers. Because wildlife species transcend jurisdictional boundaries, a coordinated response to potential climate change effects is particularly important and has been identified as a priority for many state fish and wildlife agencies. 

Take aways

  • 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
  • As keystone herbivores, their browsing behavior affects vegetation structure and composition, affecting habitat suitability for a variety of other species
  • The economic effect of changes in ungulate abundance to state agencies, local communities, and retailers could be substantial