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Climate shift could help struggling N.E. species

Warm winters like the one that just passed are likely to become more frequent as the planet heats up, scientists predict, and many of the consequences could be dire, from rising sea levels to droughts to the spread of pests and diseases. But in the lesser-noted ledger of global warming, there are also potential benefits for wildlife.

Among the potential beneficiaries is the New England cottontail, an endangered brown rabbit that, in a typical winter, stands out against the snow, making it an easy target for predators. Not so this nearly snowless year.

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