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Wildlife in Winter-Learn About Your Four-Legged Neighbors
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Elk often take up residence in Wood River Valley neighborhoods during winter, nibbling on crabapples on trees and other foods that they can find.
   
Sunday, January 8, 2023
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Learn about the winter ecology, how deer, elk, pronghorn and moose adapt to sudden weather changes and what you can do to help them this winter when the Hailey Public Library presents “Lunch & Learn: Wildlife vs. Winter.”

Sierra Robatcek, a regional wildlife population biologist for Idaho Fish and Game, will lead the discussion from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at Town Center West opposite the library.

Wildlife have long migrated to lower elevations during the winter, but the historical winter range in the Wood River Valley has been significantly diminished as the population expands. Both residents and visitors can take precautions to lessen wildlife’s stress as they try to survive, particularly in a winter like this in which heavy snows have blanketed the valley since early November.

“Someone once said that winter is the most powerful predator of all and this one has been a doozey with balmy fall temps succumbing to a sudden arctic blast, deep early snows, freezing rain, and more,” said Kristin Fletcher, the library’s programs and engagement manager. “Sierra will explain how local wildlife adapts to these harsh, rapidly changing conditions and how we can be mindful of what we can do to help them survive, and thrive.”

Robatcek has been the Regional Wildlife Population Biologist for the Magic Valley Region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game since 2018.  She received a B.S. in Wildlife Resources from the University of Idaho in 2013 and a M.S. from the University of Idaho. 

Her research focused on modeling pregnancy rates of elk in Idaho, as a function of habitat quality and habitat use.

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