Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Britain’s birds suffer the impact of climate change

Climate change will have a long-term effect on the future of a third of the bird species studied.

A study published by the British Trust for Ornithology has looked at the impact of climate change on individual bird species. Lead author of the study James Pearce-Higgins says some species will lose out, but others will benefit from the changes.

Climate change will clearly have a detrimental effect on the lives of migratory birds: the number of
cuckoos, for instance – who visit
the UK between April and June
to breed – has dropped
by 80 percent over
the last thirty years.

The transformation of the weather disrupts the established schedules of migratory birds: plants flower sooner and insect populations decline by the time the birds get on the way, with the result that young birds and those exhausted by the migration do not get sufficient food, which may have fatal consequences.

On the other hand, birds that winter in Britain are increasing their populations as milder weather and in particular warmer winters improve their chances of survival.

The researchers also emphasised that despite its great significance, climate change is not the only factor driving the decline of bird populations – changes in land use and decreasing habitats are also important factors, so we can do a great deal for endangered species by addressing also these issues.

The cuckoo population has dropped by 80 percent over the last 30 years in the UK, partly as a result of
climate change
Photo: Shutterstock
Further information: BBC

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