Friday, September 29, 2006

Skunks & Moose in Kuujjuaraapik

From the Nunatsiaq News:

Climate change lures skunks, moose to the Arctic

Warmer temperatures also wreaking havoc with building foundations

The distinctively unpleasant odor of skunk is about the last thing you might expect to smell in the Eastern Hudson Bay community of Kuujjuaraapik.

Yet Lucassie Inukpuk, the mayor of Kuujjuaraapik, has spotted several black and white skunks lurking around the town.

“We’ve never seen these before,” Inukpuk said.

Skunks aren’t the only unfamiliar animals making their way up the tree line along the Great Whale River.

Moose, who favour swampy, treed areas with lots of vegetation to eat, have also been seen around Kuujjuaraapik.

Quebec’s department of the environment says it’s not out of the question for moose or skunks to roam as far north as Kuujjuraapik.

But multiple observations of these unfamiliar animals this past summer may be another sign of rising temperatures along the 55th parallel – similar to sightings of unfamiliar birds and insects further north.

...Workers in government offices and now even residents are responding to the warmer conditions – not by changing their range, but by altering their habitat, by equipping themselves with air conditioners.

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