High Number of Road Kill This Year

VA DGIF

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The scarcity of acorns this fall might have delayed the deer rut according to one hunting expert, because bucks and does have been so lean. Deer are also now more likely to leave forested areas to browse vegetation because without acorns the woods provide little more than cover.

Interestingly, last year was a bumper crop of acorns. And forestry department research has shown that “the inherent cycles between bumper crops and light crops may be an adaptation to allow the trees to restore their resources following a bumper crop.”

Ecosystems encompass exceedingly complex and often incalculable interactions, of course. Everything impacts something else, and any change brings both temporary “winners” and “losers.” For example, acorns are also an important food source for the white-footed mouse, which in turn is an important target in the life cycle of the deer tick. So next summer should see a lower incidence of Lyme disease?!

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