There has been many discussions over the last decade or so on how much climate changes effect populations of both small and large mammals world-wide. Perhaps the main theme of discussion is based around the overall shift in plant succession and how species are either becoming extinct or cross-pollinating with other species. Scientists have often made references to historic statistics for patterns that various species thrived or struggled during earlier periods of sudden warming. New studies indicate that global warming likely throws off the equilibrium of smaller mammals in North America and slightly changes the course of evolution of animals that make particular regions their home.
According to Jessica Blois, a researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Elizabeth Hadly, a professor of biology at Stanford University, suggest that although small mammals didn’t become extinct during Pleistocene warming, they did suffer great losses. Certain small mammal species became extremely rare while others proliferated. And the species that became king of the landscape, by virtue of its commonness, was the deer mouse. Many small animals in a particular ecosystem are responsible for maintaining it by spreading seeds, aerating soil, or being the hunter or the prey, thus contributing to the biological circle of life. However the decline of one species can alter the populations of another such as the decline of gophers and squirrels is now the main factor for an increase of deer mice. Trapping gophers and moles in North America may become an obsolete business if climate change continues to essentially wipe them out by default, yet a heartier critter such as the deer mouse may soon reign over the suburban landscape. This may lead to a new pest to contend with and possibly create an entirely new trapping system and industry altogether.