Navigation Links
Winter sports threaten indigenous mountain birds
Date:1/11/2011

In the winter months, the mountain ranges of central Europe attract thousands of tourists for skiing, snowboarding and other outdoor sports, but conservationists fear this annual invasion may threaten indigenous bird species, including the Capercaillie. The research, published in the journal IBIS, reveals how the growth of human recreation may be a key factor in the rapidly declining population of these iconic alpine birds.

The Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), also known as the Wood Grouse, is the largest member of the grouse family and is renowned for its mating display. It is most commonly found in the alpine regions of Germany and Switzerland where its population has suffered a severe decline.

"Alpine habitats across Europe remained relatively undisturbed until the beginning of the last century, but today human outdoor recreation areas coincide with the winter habitats of many shy and endangered species," said lead author Dominik Thiel from the Swiss Ornithological Institute. "The Western Capercaillie has suffered rapid population declines during recent decades. However, little is known about their susceptibility to human recreation activities."

Dr Thiel's team monitored the populations of alpine Capercaillie in Germany and Switzerland close to recreation sites during two winter seasons. After analyzing 1130 samples of Capercaillie droppings the team found a marked increase in stress hormone levels closer to locations with winter recreation activity.

Capercaillie are expected to be particularly sensitive to winter tourism because during the winter months it is restricted to feeding on conifer needles which have a low nutrient content and are difficult to digest. This requires a long digestion time and results in a low rate of energy intake. Therefore any sudden energy expenditure, such as escaping from humans who will be perceived as predators, is costly.

"Winter is always the most energetically demanding season of the year for any species surviving in the mountains," concluded Thiel. "The fact that this coincides with intense human disturbance has clear physiological and behavioural implications for Capercaillie."

"We believe that Capercaillie are especially sensitive to winter recreation, and the risk for negative effects is high. The access of people to undisturbed Capercaillie winter habitats should therefore be prevented. Recreation activities should be kept away from core Capercaillie wintering areas, especially during the physiologically most demanding winter days."


'/>"/>

Contact: Ben Norman
Lifesciencenews@wiley.com
44-012-437-70375
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Winter brings flu, summer brings bacterial infections
2. Moving in for the winter toxic brown recluse spiders pose danger
3. CU-Boulder study shows 53 million-year-old high Arctic mammals wintered in darkness
4. Highest ever winter water temperatures recorded
5. Unique winter-hardy hibiscus has roots with AgriLife Research scientist in Vernon
6. City of Winter Park Looks to DigitalPersona Software for Stronger Security and CJIS Compliance
7. Where do puffins go in the winter?
8. Multiple health concerns surface as winter, vitamin D deficiences arrive
9. Winter Olympics: Altitude affects skill sports, not just endurance events
10. Many urban streams harmful to aquatic life following winter pavement deicing
11. Winter drought stress can delay flowering, prevent fruit loss in orange crops
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/20/2016)... , June 20, 2016 Securus ... justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections ... the prisons involved, it has secured the final ... (DOC) facilities for Managed Access Systems (MAS) installed. ... additional facilities to be installed by October, 2016. ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... , June 15, 2016 ... report titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry ... - 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture ... in 2015 and is estimated to grow at ... billion by 2024.  Increasing application of ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... TURKU, Finland , June 9, 2016 ... French National Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure ... France during the major tournament ... and data communications systems and services, announced today that its ... Police Prefecture to back up public safety across ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOUISVILLE, Ky. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... from two Phase 1 clinical trials of its ... double-blind, placebo-controlled, single and multiple ascending dose studies ... and pharmacodynamics (PD) of subcutaneous injection in healthy ... APL-2 subcutaneously (SC) either as a single dose ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... & Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... Review , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, ... the escalating cost of cancer care is placing ... a result of expensive biologic therapies. With the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated electronic ... showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 for ... Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug Information ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division ... tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing ... collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: