Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ski Tourism Stressing Threatening European Bird

Date:
March 5, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Ski tourism is raising stress levels among capercaillie the largest member of the grouse family of birds, which could harm the birds' fitness and ability to breed successfully, ecologists have found. Researchers warn that forests should be kept free from tourism infrastructure if they are inhabited by capercaillie - a rare species whose numbers are declining markedly across central Europe.

Ski tourism is raising stress levels among capercaillie, (wood grouse) the largest member of the grouse family of birds, which could harm the birds' fitness and ability to breed successfully.
Credit: iStockphoto/Warwick Lister-Kaye

Ski tourism is raising stress levels among capercaillie, (wood grouse) the largest member of the grouse family of birds, which could harm the birds' fitness and ability to breed successfully, ecologists have found. Writing in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers warn that forests should be kept free from tourism infrastructure if they are inhabited by capercaillie - a species whose numbers are declining markedly across central Europe.

Related Articles


The study by ecologists from Switzerland, Germany and Austria used a new technique to assess the impact of ski tourism on capercaillie. Working in the Southern Black Forest in Germany, they collected the birds' droppings before and after the start of the ski season, and analysed them for levels of the breakdown products of the stress hormone corticosterone. They found that levels of the breakdown products of the stress hormone were significantly higher in birds living in areas with moderate or high levels of ski tourism.

One of the study's authors, Dr Lukas Jenni of the Swiss Ornithological Institute says: "Ski tourism affects both habitat use and stress hormone levels in capercaillie, and this could adversely affect their body condition and overall fitness. Because of this, we recommend that managers keep forests inhabited by capercaillie free from tourism infrastructure and retain undisturbed forest patches within skiing areas."

According to Dr Jenni: "The level of winter sport activity and the introduction of new outdoor sports such as snow shoeing has increased drastically during the last decade and affects essential habitats or retreats for a number of rare or shy species such as black grouse and chamois. Human recreation activities in winter could be especially harmful to capercaillie because of the birds' reliance on a diet of low-quality conifer needles. Body condition at the end of winter has been shown to affect reproduction success of the related rock ptarmigan."

Journal reference: Dominik Thiel et al (2008). Ski tourism affects habitat use and evokes a physiological response in capercaillie Tetrao urogallus: a new methodological approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01465.x, is published online on 3 March 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Ski Tourism Stressing Threatening European Bird." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080302211819.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, March 5). Ski Tourism Stressing Threatening European Bird. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080302211819.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Ski Tourism Stressing Threatening European Bird." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080302211819.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) The Australian Museum has taken in its fourth-ever goblin shark, a rare fish with an electricity-sensing snout and &apos;alien-like&apos; jaw. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) takes a look. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Prince William Calls for Unified Effort Against Illegal Wildlife Trade

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Mar. 4, 2015) Britain&apos;s Prince William pledges to unite against illegal wildlife trade on the final day of his visit to China. Rough cut - no reporter narration Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

Rare Goblin Shark Found in Australia

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) A goblin shark, a rare sea creature described as an &apos;alien of the deep&apos; is found off Australia and delivered to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Duration: 01:25 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kenya President Sets Fire to 15 Tonnes of Elephant Ivory

Kenya President Sets Fire to 15 Tonnes of Elephant Ivory

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to a giant pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory Tuesday, vowing to destroy the country&apos;s entire stockpile of illegal tusks by the year&apos;s end. Duration: 01:06 Video provided by AFP
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