Climate Deniers Want to Kill this Baby Deer

April 3, 2014


Just when it seems they can’t sink any lower.


Will a warming world eventually kill off roe deer in France?

That question is being raised in light of new research indicating that the animals are having a hard time adapting to climate change.

 In a study published Tuesday in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, researchers tracked the births and subsequent survival of roe deer fawns in France’s Champagne region.

They noted that spring vegetation on which the adult deer depend for food was starting to flourish two weeks earlier that it did nearly three decades ago, due to gradual warming. But although spring was arriving earlier, the animals’ birth season stayed the same, failing to keep pace with the changing temperatures.

The result: More fawns died, probably because the mothers had a harder time finding the food they needed at the time they needed it to provide their babies with milk.

“Our study provides an illustration of the probable fitness costs for species which do not respond to climate change,” the researchers wrote.

Study co-author Jean-Michel Gaillard, a biologist at the University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 in France, told The Verge: “We are confident that climate change, via earlier onset of vegetation flush in temperate forests, is the culprit of the increased fawn mortality in recent years.”

Overall, roe deer numbers in France are still increasing, just at a much slower pace. The worry is that the population will start to decline if climate change continues though the coming decades, Gaillard told The Verge.

In a companion letter published in PLOS Biology, science writer Jonathan Chase questioned whether roe deer will be able to survive in a warming world.

The researchers “provide evidence to suggest that, at least for the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) of France’s Champagne region, climate change is not simply a minor inconvenience to overcome but rather a fundamental impediment to population growth that could portend eventual catastrophe,” he wrote.


13 Responses to “Climate Deniers Want to Kill this Baby Deer”

  1. I think I hear the echo of Rex Tillerson – “We’ll adapt to that!” – No doubt human beings have adapted to life without many species going extinct. I expect more to follow…

  2. dumboldguy Says:

    This phenomenon is becoming widespread among living things. The interdependent life cycles of many plants, birds, insects and animals are going “out of sync” because of global warming. I seem to recall one of the first examples being the animals and birds in the subarctic whose migration patterns are now lagging behind plant growth cycles—-just like the Roe Deer in France.

  3. Rick Spung Says:

    gosh, that’s amazing. especially since avg global temps are the same as 1000 years ago, during the mwp.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      He’s Ba-a-a-a-a-ck! Trollinator Sprung speaks. DNFTT, folks.

    • amazing indeed – if true. But perhaps you haven’t done your homework for some years? If you still refuse to do your Hockey Stick homework: What about comparing northern vineyards of today with those of the medieval times? The advanced climate denial student might also want to look at the Holocene optimum.

      P.S. @Peter: Your comment login is almost as broken as the darn junk at It is anti internets in some sense. I hate Twitter and Facebook and just by mere chance have a WordPress account. What about adding at least Google button?

    • For a moment I thought you were serious. You really had me going!

    • lesliegraham1 Says:

      Average global temperatures were at least 0.6C below what they are today during the MWP in the north Atlantic region.
      But I suspect you already know that as it has been proven around a thousand times in these threads alone.

      Why don’t you try “It’s the Termites wot’s causing global warming”(TM).
      I saw that one again the other day (first time for months) and so far it has only been debunked a couple of dozen times.

      Or another one that has been gaining in popularity since the El Nino started warming the Pacific a couple of weeks ago is; “It’s the volcano on Hawaii continualy pouring lava into the Pacific which is causing the Pacific to warm”.
      I kid you not. I don’t think that one has even been patented or given a trademark yet so be quick.

      And remember; “One volcanic eruption emits more CO2 that all of humankind in a millenium”(TM). I saw that one again today. It’s become less popular of late for some reason. Maybe because it’s such laughable nonsense that even the ignorati are embarrassed by it.

      Or, of course, you could always revert to the good old Number One hit; “The climate’s changed before” – conclusive proof that it can’t be changing now due to the 40% increase in GHG.

      And if those are a bit prosaic you could get really out there with the “Pluto is warming too”(TM). You could probably work the invisible alien lizard people into that one somehow – use your imagination.

      Whatever – looking forward to your next post. You’re a big help.

      These are all much funnier than that tired old “Wottabout the MWP” – especialy now that anyone with even a passing interest in climate now knows it was a regional event.

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