Winter is often perceived as a time of dormancy and inactivity, but underneath the snow, in the subnivean zone, a complex and fascinating world of plant and animal interactions exists. Weasels hunt through snow-roofed tunnels, rodents and other animals graze on grasses, bark, and seeds, and occasionally the taloned feet of an owl punch through the roof, searching for a meal. In this episode, Steve and Bill pull back the snowy curtain, sharing recent research into what’s happening in the subnivean zone and the impacts of climate change on this intriguing and unseen winter world. This episode was recorded in the Shale Creek section of Chestnut Ridge Park, located in Orchard Park, NY.
Photo: A Red Fox dives into the snow after its keen ears detect a rodent (or some other small mammal) moving about in the subnivean zone. Credit: catersnews / https://www.catersnews.com/stories/amazing/outfoxed-fox-gets-wedged-in-snow-after-narrowly-missing-prey/
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