Winter: pretty, but deadly
Colin Varndell looks at the effect of winter on wildlife
Published in January ’17
In December Andy Farrer looked at winter from the landscape photographer’s perspective; this month, we do so from that of Dorset’s wildlife.
In 2004 a British Trust for Ornithology survey mapped the almost identical charts of mean December-February temperatures and the famland and woodland wren
populations: in any year that mean winter temperatures dipped below 3°C populations crashed. The wrens couldn’t keep warm enough not to freeze to death.
That challenge, although less extreme than for wrens, is the same for all wild creatures in winter.
Herbivores stuggle to find exposed plants and berries, predators struggle to find their prey in the open. Long before Game of Thrones, the phrase ‘Winter is Coming’ was larded with menace.