Studying seasonal changes in wildlife


  • Randy Showstack


A new Wildlife Phenology Program is enlisting professional and citizen scientists to monitor and record seasonal wildlife events to help U.S. land managers understand and respond to climatic and other environmental changes. The Wildlife Society and the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) announced the program on 2 December as the second phase in the network's phenology monitoring efforts; a plant phenology monitoring initiative began in 2007.

Phenology is the study of seasonal timing of plant and animal life-cycle events, including migration, hibernation, and the leafing and fruiting of plants. Changes in the timing of such events are among the most sensitive biological responses to climate change. With spring events occurring earlier than previously in many regions of the world, some time-sensitive biological relationships are being disrupted.