Navigation Links
Largest lake in Britain and Ireland has lost three-quarters of winter water birds
Date:11/13/2013

The largest lake in Britain and Ireland, Lough Neagh, has lost more than three quarters of its overwintering water birds according to researchers at Queen's University Belfast.

The study by Quercus, Northern Ireland's Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, found the number of diving ducks migrating to the lake for the winter months has dropped from 100,000 to less than 21,000 in the space of a decade.

The research, published in the journal Freshwater Biology, found the ecosystem of the lake has dramatically changed since 2000/01 leading to a huge decline in the numbers of insects and snails living at the bottom of the lake. This combined with the effects of global climate change dramatically affected the numbers of migratory and overwintering water birds, a feature for which the lake is designated a Special Protection Area.

Dr Irena Tomnkov, from Quercus at the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's and who led the study, said: "Our research found there was a 66 per cent decline in the numbers of insects and snails in the lake and that this was associated with a decline of algae. As the water birds, which migrate from Northern and Eastern Europe to spend the winter months on the lake, depend on these invertebrates, we partly attribute their decline to the lack of food as well as the effects of climate change.

"Historically the lake was heavily affected by organic pollution as a result of nutrients from agricultural run-off. This artificially boosted its productivity. Now that conservation schemes are beginning to have an effect and reduce levels of pollution we are seeing increasing water quality and the unexpected consequence is fewer invertebrates and as a result less duck food."

An associated study published earlier this year showed that numbers of some key water bird species declined throughout south-western Europe at the same time as numbers equally dramatically increased in north-eastern Europe. The reason is that winter temperatures in

Northern Europe have increased by 3.8oC in the past 30 years, meaning that lakes which used to be frozen over in winter are now available for the birds to feed on. Less food in Lough Neagh and more ice-free lakes closer to the bird's natural breeding grounds mean that ducks simply no longer need to fly as far south-west and as a result Lough Neagh has lost some of its importance for overwintering water birds.

Ian Enlander, from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), said: "It is critically important for conservationists and policy makers to understand the reasons behind the dramatic changes that have been recorded at Lough Neagh. This work has been an outstanding contribution to improving our knowledge for this site. It underlines the need for international conservation measures to apply across the entire range of these migratory species."


'/>"/>

Contact: Claire O'Callaghan
c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Baylor, DNAnexus, Amazon Web Services collaboration enables largest-ever cloud-based analysis of genomic data
2. Largest therapy trial worldwide: Psychotherapy treats anorexia effectively
3. UCSF establishes largest endowed program for Ph.D. education in history of UC
4. Worlds largest event for bone, muscle, and joint research and practice to be held in Spain
5. ChipCares handheld analyzer attracts one of Canadas largest-ever healthcare angel investments
6. Renaissance in new drugs for rare diseases: Report in worlds largest scientific socity magazine
7. Worlds largest meeting dedicated to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis opens in Rome
8. 8 M € from EU to enhance access by scientists to the largest European biobanks
9. Tracking sediments fate in largest-ever dam removal
10. Color in fossil insects, diamonds from the ancient ocean floor and modeling the worlds largest rivers
11. Paradise found for Latin Americas largest land mammal
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/9/2016)... Germany , March 9, 2016 ... country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public service ... or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ... African country,s government identified that more than 23,000 public ... name or had been receiving their salary unlawfully.    ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... , March 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic ... of Innovation, Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, ... is the 9 th year of the FLEXI ... companies and individuals from past years . Judging ... a pre-described set of criteria, by a panel of ...
(Date:3/2/2016)... 2, 2016 ... of the  "Global Biometrics Market in Hospitality ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130307/600769) , , Global biometrics market ... a CAGR of around 27%   ... announced the addition of the  "Global Biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... , ... Shimadzu Scientific Instruments (SSI) will be showcasing a ... and Expo. Shimadzu’s high-performance instruments enable laboratories to test cannabis products for potency, ... by booth 1021 to learn how Shimadzu’s instruments can help improve QA/QC testing, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Most consumers engage with ... recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free communication, and facial recognition to ... with biometrics technology today. But if they asked Joey Pritikin, Vice President ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... SILVER SPRING, Md. and RESEARCH ... -- United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR ) announced ... Co-Chief Executive Officer, of United Therapeutics will provide an ... Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference. ... May 5, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... NDA ... joined the company as an Expert Consultant. Mr. Clark was formerly a ... managing the development of small molecule monographs based on analytical methods. NDA ...
Breaking Biology Technology: