Tessa McMillan


Excellent, Primary, Intermediate, Sneed B. Collard III, Nonfiction, Snowshoe Rabbit, Climate Change, Acclimatization

Document Type

Book Review


Deep in the woods of Montana, biologist Scott Mills notices a big problem with a small animal. The snowshoe hares he has studied for most of his career are not changing their coat colors fast enough to protect themselves from predators. With season lengths fluctuating due to climate change, many snowshoe hares are getting killed off quicker because they haven’t molted fast enough to match their environment. Without any outside aid, snowshoe hares could become a threatened species. To learn more, Mills is studying coat-changing animals in a variety of climates. In Washington state, not all snowshoe hares molt to white each year. This genetic variation could help shield the population from climate change’s effects. Mills and his research team believe the Montana snowshoe hares could evolve a similar genetic characteristic through natural selection. Even though there is a chance these hares may change their genes to survive, this doesn’t mean humans should foster the climate change problem that caused these hares and other animals to be threatened.