Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
Home | Intranet | Digital Measures | Help

Can camouflage keep up with climate change? Connecting down-scaled climate models to adaptation for a key forest species.


October 2009 - September 2012


In this project Dr. Mike Mitchell will collaborate with Dr. L. Scott. Mills, who has the longest-running snowshoe hare study in the United States, and Dr. Steve Running, a Nobel-Prize winning IPCC climatologist. We will use radiotelemetry to determine the demographic cost of mismatch of snowshoe hares to their background, and to evaluate the scope for movement and/or adaptive responses whereby timing of coat color shifts are modified or behaviors mitigate negative effects of mismatch. Importantly, we will then specifically connect the responses of hares to high-resolution climate models of snowpack and temperature that are at scales relevant to hares and that can be projected for the next 30-50+ years. The result will be a complete package whereby species (and ecosystem responses) can be forecast using ecologically relevant climate models.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 9

Phd Students: 9

Post Docs: 0

University Staff: 16

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 7

Scientific Publications: 52

Presentations: 44



Funding Agencies

  • Global Change
  • U.S. Geological Survey


Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  2. The University of Montana
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute