Winter storm impacts South’s wildlife

Snow blankets the ground at McKinney Falls State Park in Austin, Texas. Wildlife throughout the South has been affected by the unusual winter storm that sent temperatures plummeting below freezing.
Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife

The South’s winter storm not caused problems for people left without heat and power. It also wreaked havoc with wildlife. Rehabilitation specialists took in stranded bats. Volunteers rallied to rescue cold-stunned sea turtles. Dead songbirds appeared in yards. Alligators pushed their noses through frozen waterways. Wildlife officials were gearing up for fish kills and losses of monarch butterflies.

“Animals can respond to events like this by moving elsewhere, but if it’s beyond your flight range or your walking range you have to hunker down,” TWS member Perry Barboza, a wildlife biologist at Texas A&M University, told the Associated Press. “Some animals like small birds can do it just a night or two. The duration becomes the killer.”

Read more from the Associated Press.