Explained: How climate change is affecting breeding of birds
New Delhi, July 25: Climate change does a lot more than just heat up our planet. This extreme weather can be trouble for birds, which are very sensitive their environment. Scientists have noticed that when extreme weather happens, fewer birds show up in the places they call home.
According to the reports, more than 30% of our breeding birds are already declining and are in need of conservation action.
For these majestic birds, the onset of the rainy season is a sign for the beginning of their seasonal nesting. However, shifting seasons and unseasonal monsoon conditions have been affecting these cues for nesting. Study shows that altered cropping and rainfall patterns are responsible for unseasonal nesting.
Many bird species are advancing the timing of their egg-laying in response to a warming climate, affecting the length of the breeding seasons.
Why does climate change impact migratory birds in particular?
Migratory species require suitable conditions throughout their annual cycle: on their breeding grounds, in their non-breeding range, and along migratory routes between the two. Climate change has the potential to disrupt conditions in all three stages, according to a study by BirdLife International's science team.
Climate change shrinks bird's size
Climate change is having profound effects on Earth and its ecosystems, and during the past 100 years, global temperatures have increased by close to one degree Celsius.
From the fossil record, it is known that during past periods of global warming, both marine and land-based animals have become smaller.
Scientists have proposed that contemporary warming could lead to smaller animals, but so far, evidence supporting this has been scarce.
Shrinking size affects fertility.
Body size is an important indicator of an animal's fertility, lifespan and ability to survive times of stress, such as food shortages or drought, researchers said.
The effect of climate change on birds will become more severe in the future unless we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the natural resources birds need to adapt to change.