Wildlife Survival in Winter: Hibernation

Do you feel like curling up in a warm blanket and sleeping through the cold winter months? You’re not alone! Many wildlife species use hibernation to effectively survive the winter. Ohio has a number of “true” hibernators, including the woodchuck, chipmunk, some species of bats, and most reptiles and amphibians. A true hibernator is one that goes into a prolonged state of dormancy. Their body temperature will drop and heart rate and breathing will slow to decrease the amount of energy used. These animals usually do not awaken from hibernation until spring.

Others, like the black bear, raccoons, skunks, and some mice and birds, will go into temporary states of inactivity called torpor. Wildlife will do this in response to short periods of extreme bad weather but it will usually only last for a few hours or days.

To learn more about Ohio’s wildlife and how they survive the winter visit the Wildlife Species Guide List: http://ow.ly/hiKu30q6F1V

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