Creatures Great and SmallScroll to learn more
Climate Change Affects Them All
Watch the video for more about how climate change is affecting a salamander that is only found in the Great Smoky Mountains.
85%Percentage of a bear’s diet that is plants.
Small Changes = Big Impacts
As the climate changes, more frequently we see a spring come early, trees bud, flowers bloom, and insects hatch from eggs. Sometimes with an early spring, a late winter freeze hurts the nuts and plants—the main food for bears.
Some bears in the Smokies are active throughout the winter. Will food be available for them? (Photo by Warren Beilenberg)
This frost-damaged fernhead shows the destruction of an early spring followed by a late freeze. Bears depend on fernheads for food in the early spring.
Since the American chestnut (above) has almost died out due to an introduced blight, bears now rely on nuts like acorns, beech, and hickory that are more vulnerable to frost damage.
A bear’s non-plant diet is made up of mostly insects—like bees and wasps—and already dead animals. (Photo by Warren Beilenberg)
Female bears must eat enough in the summer and fall to build up fat to sustain them through winter or they will not have cubs that year.
Picture our Parks
Scientists use photographs as records of a scene. We need your help to document the plants, clouds, and seasons—and how they are changing. Use the picture post to take photos and upload them here.Upload Photos