Printer Friendly

Climate change makes migrations longer for birds.

Byline: ANI

Washington, April 15 (ANI): In a new research, a team of scientists, led by Durham University, UK, have determined that bird migrations are likely to get longer, as a result of climate change.

This is the first ever study of the potential impacts of climate change on the breeding and winter ranges of migrant birds.

The scientists show that the marathon flights undertaken by birds to spring breeding grounds in Europe, are going to turn into even more epic journeys; the length of some migrations could increase by as much as 250 miles.

The research team looked at the current migration patterns of European Sylvia warblers, a group of birds that are common residents and visitors to Europe, like the Blackcap.

The scientists demonstrate evidence of potential breeding ranges shifting northwards in the future, while the wintering ranges remain stationary for many species.

The team used simulation models to see how climate change might affect warblers and found that climate change will have significant impacts, particularly on the projected migration distances for some of the long distance fliers.

Some 500 million birds are estimated to migrate to Europe and Asia from Africa; birds as small as 9 grams undertake the annual migration of 1,000s of miles between the two continents to find food and suitable climate.

Birds have to put on a large amount of weight as fat before migrating long distances. They even shrink the size of some of their internal organs to become more fuel efficient.

Some species must double their weight to have enough energy to undertake the huge journeys. The first of these migrants are now starting to reappear once again in the UK countryside.

According to team leader, Dr Stephen Willis of Durham University, birds face an increasing fight to survive.

"Most warblers come here in spring and summer time to take advantage of the surplus of insects, and leave for warmer climes in the autumn. From 2071 to 2100, nine out of the 17 species we looked at are projected to face longer migrations, particularly birds that cross the Sahara desert," he said.

"Our findings show that marathon migrations for some birds are set to become even longer journeys," he added.

According to Nathalie Doswald, a student on the Durham team, "The projected distances for migrations would require long and short distance fliers to increase their fuel loads by 9 per cent and 5 per cent of lean body mass respectively."

"The predicted future temperature changes and the associated changes in habitat could have serious consequences for many species," she added. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

Provided by an company
COPYRIGHT 2009 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Asian News International
Date:Apr 15, 2009
Previous Article:Sharif wants Musharraf to be booked for violating constitution.
Next Article:Osteoporosis drug can mend hard-to-heal elderly fractures.

Related Articles
Birds on the move!
No early birds: migrators can't catch advancing caterpillars.
WALES: Bird species under threat.
The birds flying in the face of climate change; But species suffer as the world warms.
Changes in climate may harm birds.
Why birds wear backpacks.
Global warming may trap birds in hostile environments.
Birds tend to move in response to unfavorable climate.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |