First scientists discovered that the milder winters were shrinking the sheep in the Outer Hebrides at a rate of 3.5 ounces (100g) a year as smaller, weaker lambs were surviving in the warmer weather. Now they have discovered the same process is turning the dark coats of Soay sheep on Hirta in the St Kilda archipelago lighter.
Dr Shane Maloney, an animal researcher whose findings are published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, said: “If environmental effects are the cause of the decline, then we can expect the proportion of dark coloured Soay sheep to decrease further.”
The Telegraph, 22 Jul 2009
thanks to Geir Aaslid