Across an entire desert or ocean, migratory birds make some of the most extreme journeys found in nature, but there are still huge gaps in our understanding of how they manage to travel these vast distances and what a changing climate means for their migration patterns.
‘Some species of migrants might be affected by a changing climate,’ said Professor Stuart Bearhop, an animal ecology expert from the University of Exeter in the UK.
‘There is evidence from a number of populations that climate change probably is going to have some impact on the demography (population levels).’
Prof. Bearhop ran the STATEMIG project, which studied the migration of Brent geese along their journey from Ireland to the Arctic where they breed.
He found that the volatility of today’s seasons was affecting the geese’s population levels because the weather was playing havoc with their breeding patterns. MORE
Header image: The volatility of seasons is affecting the breeding patterns of Brent geese, a migratory bird species. Credit – Flickr/milo bostock, licensed under CC BY 2.0.