Recently, New York and New Jersey have been experiencing fluctuating weather conditions through this very strange winter. The weather changes have shown extreme colds one day and warm weather the next. In New York City particularly, snowy winter days have been replaced with wet and rainy ones. What does all this mean for hibernating animals like squirrels, groundhogs, and chipmunks?

Intermittent Warmth and Hibernation

Generally, hibernation is not a reaction to cold weather, but a way to deal with a lack of food. Most animals that hibernate will not wake when the weather gets a bit warmer. Rather, their internal clocks await the coming of Spring. A number of studies have shown that days of warmer weather do not affect the yearly hibernation schedules of most mammals.

Warmer Winters

Warmer weather across the whole winter could change hibernation patterns. Many commonly hibernating animals do not hibernate in regions where food is not scarce in the winter. Southern chipmunks do not hibernate in the winter, for example. If the overall winter climate becomes warm enough to sustain naturally occurring food sources, animals such as squirrels, groundhogs, and chipmunks may not need to hibernate. These animals will have to adapt to a changing climate and will have to figure out how to change their diet accordingly.

We specialize in the humane removal of raccoons, rats, squirrels, and other pests in the New York/New Jersey area. For a complete inspection and evaluation please contact us or call us at 718-227-7227 and we will be happy to make an appointment at your convenience.