Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Climate Change Hurting New Hampshire Hunters

New Hampshire MooseWarmer temperatures and extreme weather fueled by global warming took their toll on New Hampshire's moose hunting season:
Warm weather was one of the factors that attributed to the decrease in the overall success rate, according to biologists. Because moose have already grown their heavy winter coats, they tend to bed down during the day during unseasonably warm weather and wait until nightfall to move about when temperatures drop. Some hunters also reportedly cut their hunts short to head home before the arrival of developing Hurricane Sandy.
It was easiest bag a moose in the north, toughest in the south:
Preliminary numbers show moose hunters having the highest success in the North region at 82 percent, with 73 percent in the Connecticut Lakes Region, 64 percent in the White Mountain Region, 51 percent in the Central Region, 45 percent in the Southwest Region and 35 percent in the Southeast Region.
It's part of a broader trend - temperatures in New Hampshire have risen about three degrees in the last 150 years. (Note that the Eastern Moose is far from endangered - with natural predators like wolves and cougars wiped out, hunting is actually needed to control the population.)

Polls show that even though sportsmen lean conservative politically, they firmly support cutting carbon pollution. Global warming isn't an abstract idea to them - they're already seeing the effects of climate change in the places they hunt and fish, whether it's overheated moose in New Hampshire, a tick explosion in Massachusetts, threatened fish breeding grounds in Florida, or duck habitat drying up in the Plains.
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