More bad environmental news:
Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday.
Which is actually good news for bears and other delightful woodland creatures:
Unlike humans, many animals don’t have adverse reactions to poison ivy, according to an expert in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “In fact, for woodpeckers, warblers, vireos and many other birds, poison ivy’s berries are a preferred food,” says Jim Finley, professor of forest resources. “Deer, black bears, muskrats and rabbits eat the fruit, stems and leaves. For these animals, poison ivy’s eye-catching early-fall color will act as a food marker rather than a poison warning.”
Black bears are listed as threatened or endangered in five US states, are rare in Missouri, and protected in Kentucky. Long may they thrive on global warming’s ivy bounty.
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