Mapping Adaptive Hotspots for Wildlife

Recent research published in Science has identified “adaptive hot spots” for species that change their coat color in the winter from brown to white. As a changing climate leads to reduced snow cover in the winter, certain species like the snowshoe hare will be negatively impacted due to coat-color mismatch and consequently increased predation. By identifying adaptive hostpots in which brown and white-coated individuals coexist in winter, the international research team hopes that it can promote these as areas for protection and foster rapid evolution toward being winter brown instead of white as climate changes.