Yes, we all know that winters in the Rocky Mountains are cold and long. But as we sit comfortably in our warm living rooms with Netflix and a glass of Cabernet, it’s easy to assume that the ungulates and predators and birds and other creatures that inhabit this region are equally cozy, or, at least, that they have evolved strategies for surviving the winter.
For the various species as a whole, that may be true, but when the temperature plummets the way it has here in recent days, many individual creatures succumb. It’s not a complicated equation. To survive the cold, they need to take in more calories than they expend. If they do not, then they ultimately provide calories for other creatures.