Invasive snowshoe hares were introduced to Maine's Bay of Fundy Islands in 1959 and rapidly became widespread pests that eliminated most trees from the landscape. After several attempts and a bit of determination, the last invasive rabbit was removed in 2007. Since then the islands' natural landscape has returned to normal.
Snowshoe hares typically shed their brown summer coats to blend in with the snowy scenery of the winter. However, when there is no snow, these mismatched animals have no place to hide and increase their chances of being spotted by a predator.
Caught in white outfits in a brown landscape, snowshoe hares are feeling conspicuous to predators in low-snow landscapes caused by El Niño. Black bears are likewise thrown off schedule and using more energy to stay awake.