African migrating birds are spending more time in Europe than usual, according to scientists.
Experts warn that, after 50 years of research and data collection, migrating birds are spending longer time in Europe than usual, raising the chance that some would forgo their annual winter migration.
According to a Durham University study, cross-continental travelers are remaining in their European breeding sites for roughly 60 days longer each year than they were previously, owing to climate change.
The scientists looked at data from The Gambia in West Africa and Gibraltar that spanned five decades.
The study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, looked at how arrival and departure dates changed over time using data collected by ornithologists in The Gambia, Gibraltar Ornithological Society, and the Natural History Society between 1991 and 2018.
The study’s findings show that birds are making “more complicated and delicate decisions” in response to variables such as “climatic conditions and accessible vegetation.”
“If the trends we’ve seen in this study continue, we may see some birds spend the entire year in Europe rather than Sub-Saharan Africa,” said main author Kieran Lawrence of Durham’s department of biosciences.
If the birds do not migrate, he believes there would be more competition for food in Europe during the winter and autumn.
According to the project’s head, Professor Stephen Willis, his team will develop a new strategy for projecting migrations and future situations.
Written and Edited by Yankuba E. Jarju | Guerilla Media 24