Winter weather will have impact on wildlife, expert says

Winter weather will have impact on wildlife, expert says

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With the snow behind us and the weather warming up, it usually means more mosquitoes in Region 8.

But did this winter weather have an impact on those pesky mosquitoes?

Dr. Than Boves, Associate Professor of Ecology at A-State, says the winter weather had an impact on some wildlife, but the long-term effects remain to be seen.

He says the record 270 straight hours we were below freezing had an impact on animals.

“One day, two days, they may have been able to make it through,” Dr. Boves said. “But two weeks, certainly some individuals couldn’t make it through.”

If you were driving in the snow, you likely ran across some birds on the road that wouldn’t fly away. Dr. Boves says a lot of certain populations like birds were fighting for basic needs. Some birds, he says, even displayed cannibalistic behavior.

“There [was] certainly a lot of pressure on these animals — individual animals — for food and to stay warm,” Dr. Boves said.

As for mosquitoes, Dr. Boves says he thought the weather would have an impact on them too, but his personal experience told him otherwise.

“I went looking for American Woodcock which are a migratory bird that is passing through right now,” Dr. Boves said. “I found American Woodcock, but unbelievably, there were swarms of mosquitoes out.”

Dr. Boves says there are hordes of mosquitoes in other places like Alaska that are able to survive the freezing weather.

“I would’ve thought that maybe we had some southern mosquitoes that couldn’t handle those sorts of conditions,” Dr. Boves said. “But, just from my personal experience, it does not look like that two weeks of cold, unfortunately, sorry for the bad news, is going to have a major impact on mosquitoes.”

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