Sea level rise is a major concern in northwestern Europe. The Wat Sea off the coasts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands is a major traffic center for migratory birds. Millions of migratory birds stop in the Wat Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to feed on their journey between Africa and the Arctic.
Researchers say climate change is affecting most coastal areas. In addition to rising waters in the Wat Sea, extreme weather events such as heavy rains and storms are increasingly disturbing birds to rest and spend.
The adverse effects of climate change are already being observed in West Africa, the most common wintering area for migratory birds, in the form of soil erosion, with other factors, including poaching, shipping and logging, contributing the most.
Every three years since 2014, researchers at Watt Sea Collaboration have counted migratory birds on migration routes in the eastern Atlantic. Counting at regular intervals, according to research leader Kristen Mays, is important to be aware of any inventory changes in a timely manner. It is difficult for a migratory bird not to be in the same place, and sometimes it changes course. Therefore, the number of birds in the Wat Sea may decrease, while the number may be stable or even increase globally.
According to the latest population census in 2020, nearly half of the 83 migratory birds observed increased, remained the same at 16 percent and decreased by 30 percent compared to recent decades.
Researchers say this may be due to changing climatic conditions. Migratory birds adapt to specific times thousands of years ago. However, due to climate change, spring, and with it the melting of snow and the appearance of insects in the Arctic, began earlier. As a result, the conditions for hatching and rearing chicks become unfavorable.
To overcome threats to migratory birds, the researchers said it would be important to further protect the animals’ preferred habitat, according to MTI.
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