This climate crisis is for the birds! Literally.
A study from Durham University found that snowbirds aren’t feeling the chill so much these days. In fact, the study showed that some trans-Saharan migratory birds are spending about 50-60 extra days close to home in their European breeding grounds rather than migrating to Africa.
The birds didn’t suddenly decide to take time off to be with the kids. Experts believe they’re sticking around in Europe because rising temperatures make it possible to survive longer in previously cold areas.
The study’s lead author Kieran Lawrence said: “If the trends we have seen in this study continue we may see that, in time, some birds will spend no time at all in sub-Saharan Africa, and instead spend the full year within Europe.
What does it mean?
Lawrence continued, laying out the ramifications of this new climate crisis challenge: “In the traditional migration destinations of sub-Saharan Africa a reduction in the time migratory birds spend there could have implications for ecosystem services such as insect consumption, seed dispersal and pollination.”
Lawrence further noted that this change in migratory habits could also lead to increased competition for food and resources in Europe.