The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.
Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.
Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.
"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 11:25 am
A civet cat eats red coffee cherries at a farm in Bondowoso, Indonesia. Civets are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses than to cats.
Credit Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.
Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss., poses with the 723.5-pound alligator she and five others caught over the weekend.
Credit Ricky Flynt / Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Department
Two alligators, each weighing more than 720 pounds, were caught in Mississippi this past weekend, setting a new state record for heaviest male alligator. Both animals measured more than 13 feet in length; it took hours to get the trophies into the hunters' boats.
The huge reptiles were brought down on the same day, setting a state record that stood for less than two hours before it was broken again.
Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit or fetch or even herd sheep; Sharpy is learning to find the nests of western pond turtles.
These turtles are sneaky. After laying their eggs in a small hole, they knead together dirt, leaves and their own urine to plug the opening. Once this mud dries, the nest looks like an unremarkable patch of ground.
This young whooping crane is on its first fall migration, guided by an Operation Migration ultralight aircraft. Each whooper in this population wears an identification band, and many carry tracking devices that record their movements in detail.
Being a wildlife biologist in the 21st century increasingly means rescuing rare animals from extinction. Among the success stories is the whooping crane. Seventy years ago there were only about 16 birds left on the planet. Now there are about 600.