Navigation Links
Drought in the Horn of Africa delays migrating birds
Date:12/6/2012

The catastrophic drought last year in the Horn of Africa affected millions of people but also caused the extremely late arrival into northern Europe of several migratory songbird species, a study from University of Copenhagen published today in Science shows. Details of the migration route was revealed by data collected from small back-packs fitted on birds showing that the delay resulted from an extended stay in the Horn of Africa.

The extensive 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa had significant consequences for European songbirds such as thrush nightingale and red-backed shrike. These birds visit northern Europe every spring to mate and take advantage of ample summer food resources. However, their spring migrating route from southern Africa to northern latitudes passes directly through the Horn of Africa, where the birds stop to feed and refuel for the next stage of their migration.

- Our research was able to couple the birds' delayed arrival in Europe with that stopover in the Horn of Africa. Here they stayed about a week longer in 2011 than in the years before and after 2011. Because of the drought, the birds would have needed longer to feed and gain energy for their onward travel, causing delayed arrival and breeding in Europe. This supports our theory that migrating animals in general are dependent on a series of areas to reach their destination, says Associate Professor Anders Tttrup from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen.

Data loggers as a backpack

The late spring arrival of European songbirds such as thrush nightingale and red-backed shrike perplexed researchers and bird watchers in 2011. This mystery was even greater considering these songbirds' tendency to arrive progressively earlier over the last 50 years as climate change has made its impact. By placing small data loggers on the backs of several birds in the autumn before their migration to Africa, and retrieving them in the spring when the birds returned to Europe, the scientists were able to trace the migration route and stopover sites. These data revealed a delay in the particular stopover in the Horn of Africa. Additionally, it was noted that other migrating birds not passing through the Horn of Africa arrived in Europe at the expected time.

- We have reconstructed 26 migration routes based on data from the small "data backpacks" weighing just 1 gram. This new technology provides us with a detailed picture of the birds' migration and stopovers. It is brand-new territory to be able to track animals this small over such great distances, says Associate Professor Kasper Thorup from the Center for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate at the University of Copenhagen.

Delayed breeding

The birds' late arrival in 2011 also meant a similarly late breeding year.

- There are no signs of implications on the birds' breeding success and thereby the size of the population. But it is possible that we haven't yet seen the full effect of the delayed year, concludes Anders Tttrup.


'/>"/>

Contact: Anders Tttrup
aptottrup@bio.ku.dk
45-51-82-69-88
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Plant stress paints early picture of drought
2. Increasing drought stress challenges vulnerable hydraulic system of plants, GW professor finds
3. Drought in 2001-2002 fueled Rocky Mountain pine beetle outbreak
4. 2001-2002 drought helped propel mountain pine beetle epidemic, says CU study
5. UK butterfly populations threatened by extreme drought and landscape fragmentation
6. Desert farming forms bacterial communities that promote drought resistance
7. Droughts are pushing trees to the limit
8. Climate and drought lessons from ancient Egypt
9. Diversity keeps grasslands resilient to drought, climate change
10. UCLA research makes possible rapid assessment of plant drought tolerance
11. Chronic 2000-04 drought, worst in 800 years, may be the new normal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Drought in the Horn of Africa delays migrating birds
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety of ... during the major tournament Teleste, an ... systems and services, announced today that its video security solution ... to back up public safety across the country. The ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM Business ... industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to interact ... questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can ... personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited to ... VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt and ... VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches to ... both security and usability. ... this new partnership. "This marketing and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf ... join the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... and entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... 15mm, machines such as the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end ... height is the height of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition ... harness living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams ... New York City . The ... projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong ... senior curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne ...
Breaking Biology Technology: