Many wild animals hibernate during the winter season. However, because this winter has been so brutal, hibernating wildlife may be frozen inside the ground. This is because, according to USA Today, who published the report March 1, most wildlife dig under the frost line and down into the ground during hibernation season. This means they could actually be frozen because the frost line is much deeper. This goes to show that the severe weather we have had this winter has not only been hard on us, but animals as well. Plants are taking the harsh, cold weather hard as well.
On the other hand, because of so much snow this winter, it has served as a type of insulation that may have slowed the cooling of the ground down somewhat. Let's hope that not too many animals, if any at all, did not freeze underground.
Not only this but the food source for the wild animals that do not hibernate is becoming scarce since plants are frozen and won't start growing again until spring arrives and stays. Although the winter has been rough on all of us, humans and animals, there is one positive side to it. With the lakes and ponds freezing over from the freezing cold, the water levels should be better this year.
Plants are also at risk, not really due to the severe cold, but actually due to the roller coaster ride of highs and lows of the temperatures. With the constant freezing and thawing of the ice and snow, the frost tends to crack which can cause serious problems for plants. Another problem and concern for the plants and trees is the wet and heavy snow that can break their limbs. A slow and steady thaw would be better for plants because it can allow them to adapt to the warmer temperatures when spring finally arrives.