No Snow, More Wildlife

By Lindsay Nielsen

No Snow, More Wildlife

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 5:26 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The lack of snow this winter season could mean more problems in the wildlife department.

A mild winter will create more activity for animals like deer, skunks and raccoons.

When it comes to long term impacts, Cornell University's Paul Curtis says "if we look at wildlife associated data going back to the 1950's there are several migratory bird species that are nesting and breeding approximately two weeks earlier now. We see plants flowering earlier in spring than they did half a century ago," he said.

Deer also have access to more plants that would normally be snow covered, meaning the deer population is expected to increase even more.

This could also mean more animal-related car accidents and more deer ticks, leading to an increase in cases of lyme disease.

"We're really seeing a spike in Lyme disease in Tompkins County right now and so all of these things are associated with mild winters. Ticks will be more active earlier in the spring with mild winters they'll stay more active in the fall," said Curtis, Extension Wildlife Specialist at Cornell University.

Curtis says you might see more insects this summer, as a mild winter will help them survive too.