Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate Change Linked To Migratory Bird Decrease

Date:
March 26, 2003
Source:
Society For Conservation Biology
Summary:
Biologists believe that climate change is affecting living things worldwide, and the latest evidence suggests that warmer winters may mean fewer migratory birds. New research shows that as winter temperatures have risen in central Europe, the number of migratory birds has dropped. Ultimately, this may also decrease the number of migratory bird species there.

Biologists believe that climate change is affecting living things worldwide, and the latest evidence suggests that warmer winters may mean fewer migratory birds. New research shows that as winter temperatures have risen in central Europe, the number of migratory birds has dropped. Ultimately, this may also decrease the number of migratory bird species there.

Related Articles


"We predict that with increasing winter temperatures...the number of long-distance migratory bird species should decline," say Nicole Lemoine and Katrin Boehning-Gaese of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, in the April issue of Conservation Biology.

The Earth's surface temperature has increased by about a degree F since 1860, and is expected to increase by as much as 10 degrees F more over the next century. Already, climate change is affecting plants and animals in many parts of the world: for instance, plants in Europe have a longer growing season, a North American marmot has a shorter hibernation period, and some migratory birds in Europe are starting to breed earlier.

Climate change could also affect the abundance and diversity of birds. The idea is that warmer winters could increase the survival of birds that live in an area year-round, which could give migratory birds more competition for resources such as food and nest sites when they return to breed in the spring – and that in turn could decrease the total number of migratory birds as well as the number of species.

To see if climate change affects the abundance and diversity of migratory birds, Lemoine and Boehning-Gaese analyzed existing bird census and climate data for the Lake Constance region of central Europe, which includes parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The researchers determined the number of land bird species and the abundance of each species during two recent census periods (1980-81 and 1990-92). The researchers considered 300 species of land birds and divided them into three categories: residents, short-distance migrants (those that migrate an average of roughly 600 to 1,200 miles) and long-distance migrants (those that migrate more than 2,200 miles). There were 122, 80 and 108 species in each category, respectively.

While climate change did not affect resident or short-distance migratory birds, Lemoine and Boehning-Gaese found that it did affect the long-distance migrants. Between the two census periods, winters got warmer and the abundance of long-distant migrants decreased. Specifically, the average temperature of the coldest month increased more than four degrees F, and the abundance of long-distance migratory birds decreased by a fifth.

Ultimately, warmer winters will probably also decrease the number of long-distance migratory bird species in Central Europe, say the researchers. In addition, the birds' migratory behavior will probably evolve. The migratory behavior of bird populations can change in only a few generations, and several populations of wrens, skylarks and other short-distance migrants have stopped migrating in the last 20 years.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Conservation Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Conservation Biology. "Climate Change Linked To Migratory Bird Decrease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 March 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073630.htm>.
Society For Conservation Biology. (2003, March 26). Climate Change Linked To Migratory Bird Decrease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073630.htm
Society For Conservation Biology. "Climate Change Linked To Migratory Bird Decrease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030326073630.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins