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How mild winters and sudden cold snaps affect local wildlife

Philippe Gerber/Getty Images
Moment RF
White Tailed Deer.

Connecticut joined every other New England state in logging the warmest January on-record this year. Areas like Bridgeport are seeing record-low seasonal snowfall, while still logging more than five inches of rainaccording to the National Weather Service.

You may have already heard unusual bird calls, or noticed your crocuses have cropped up early. Still, there have been two arctic blasts between these unseasonable temperatures, and another "cool-down" expected ahead. So how are these fluctuations affecting the local ecology?

Forest ecologist Dr. Susanna Kerio touches on the critical role trees play, and DEEP wildlife biologist Jenny Dickson discusses how a wide variety of animals are affected. Plus, a warning from the state’s main tick-tracking center and an update from the Connecticut Audubon Society.

How has the unseasonable warmth affected wildlife where you live?


  • Dr. Susanna Kerio: Forest Ecologist, Dept. of Environmental Science and Forestry at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Jenny Dickson: Wildlife Division Director, Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Dr. Goudarz Molaei: Research Scientist, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station; Director of the Tick and Tick-borne Diseases Surveillance Program, Center for Vector Biology and Zoonotic Diseases
  • Tom Andersen: Director of Communications, Connecticut Audubon Society

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.