9th Jan, 2013

Keystone Teacher Elucidates re Summit Co Real Estate Wildlife

Moose, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep hang around Summit County real estate all through the winter.  Skiers in the back bowls may encounter mountain goats off the beaten track around Keystone and Breckenridge real estate but a good many wildlife species also make their presence known closer to the villages.

Sarah Rosenkrantz explained how area wildlife must decide what to do as winter sets in.  In her article on January 1, 2013 in the Summit Daily News, the program instructor at Keystone Science School talks about “Who’s settling in, and who’s heading south?”

The animals that remain near homes in Breckenridge and Summit County adapt for the winter.  They grow more for.  Mountain goats and others have two layers of for, one that traps warm air close to the body.  Rosenkranz explains that other animals are able to live in the snow, including moose because they have long legs and lots of for, and links and snowshoe hares who can navigate across snowy areas.

All of the animals prepare.  Both migration and hibernation take a lot of work, she says.  For example, in order to fly south, birds build up approximately 50 percent extra fat for reserve energy.  They must be able to survive in case there are low food supplies at their southern destinations.  Animals such as deer leave the higher elevations to find more food.  Many of them stay in the foothills along the Front Range where food is not buried in so much snow.

The hibernating animals like bears reduce their metabolism and body temperature and save energy by sleeping through the winter.  Many smaller animals including ground squirrels, chipmunks, Whitetail prairie dogs, and snakes hibernate together to keep warm.

Some small mammals live under the snow, kind of like living in igloos.  The temperature on the surface under the snow is about 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  Voles, mice, shrews, and lemmings are part of this group.

The Keystone Science School is a nonprofit organization providing activities for children.  Keystone School offers valuable instruction and experiential projects.  Students learn about the natural habitat and ecology of the Rocky Mountains and spend time out on the trails for hands-on learning.

For information about buying land, homes, condominiums, and fractional real estate in the scenic mountain villages, call Barrie Stimson, Breckenridge Realtor at (970) 390-2560.

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