Utica, NY (WIBX) - Winter recreation activities may be on hold for some due to the lack of snow in the region, but DEC officials say animals who depend on the white stuff for camouflage are feeling the pinch too. Stephen Litwhiler, Spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Conservation's Watertown Office said, "Without the cold weather and the snow cover many animals actually are at a disadvantage. For example, the Snowshoe Hare, the Shorttail Weasel, also known as an Airman, they turn white in the winter time. So, actually when it comes to invading predators--which they've been adapted to do--right now they stand out like a beacon."

Litwhiler says the animals don't turn white because of their surroundings, but due to shorter day light hours, which started back in November. He says if the lack of snow becomes a trend, it would negatively impact some animal population in the area.