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Local Wildlife Prepares For Harsh Winter

Courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation
Red-headed woodpecker

The recent cold snap in Missouri not only came as a shock to the human inhabitants, but the animals as well, according to an expert at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Naturalist Michelle Randecker explained the local wildlife needs time to prepare for the season.

“It’s amazing how quickly we had this cold weather come upon us,” she said.

As it grows colder, animals will need a shelter to keep them warm, food becomes scarce and their water supply freezes over.

“If it stays cold long enough and there’s ice over the water, that’s the one thing they are looking for is a place to get a drink,” Randecker said.

According to her, these critters have survival strategies that she calls “The Great -Ate.”

“They migrate, hibernate or insulate,” she said. “That’s part of their life cycle is to prepare for winter and hopefully be able to deal with it.”

Other animals accumulate or store food before it gets too cold.

Jessica Penland was an intern reporter for KRCU in 2014.