Warm Air Could Have Negative Impacts on Wildlife - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Warm Air Could Have Negative Impacts on Wildlife

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The Indian River Bay (SOURCE: WBOC) The Indian River Bay (SOURCE: WBOC)

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. - It may have been Dec. 14, but the weather seemed more like May 14 on Monday. And while this warm-up is good news for those who like spending time outside, the weather could also have negative implications for the bay and wildlife. 

Chris Bason from the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays said that the warm temperature could have both short and long term effects. 

"Many of us maybe have noticed the short-term impacts," he said. "You might be seeing that there are some bees flying around again. Maybe some of the flowers in your yard are starting to bloom out of season. And maybe you're even hearing some spring peepers in the wetlands." 

Bason said that this is significant because these animals are coming out of dormancy, and are using some of their resources they have stored up for the winter. That can lead to a system shock, when the cold temperatures inevitably return. 

But Bason said that there are also many long-term changes as well, caused by this trend of warm temperatures. First off, the temperatures can cause algae blooms, which literally pull the oxygen out of the water. Also Bason said that migration patterns have been greatly altered by this weather. 

"Many of our important fish species have changed," he said. "And they're coming by a lot later in the year now." 

Bason said that these changing migration patterns are also important for hunters. That's because waterfowl are making their way down to Delmarva far later in the year, which has created a rather uneventful start to the hunting season." 

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