Lot: The agency’s birds are beginning to feel the effects of global warming

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Rising temperatures, sea levels, retreating and melting glaciers … global warming has many effects on the environment. Lotto birds are beginning to suffer from the consequences, and not necessarily for the better.

Three parts of the IPCC report, the last of which was released in April, worry the public about the urgency of global warming. The consequences for the environment are numerous. Four winds, the birds do not run away.

In LPO Occitanie, Lot’s delegation, some phenomena are beginning to be observed. Even if Nathan Findery, who is in charge of environmental research, warns: these changes are, of course, related to global warming, but not only. Sometimes other factors can be taken into account, such as the disappearance of habitats (including the mechanization of agriculture, the use of phytosanitary products, the disappearance of hedges, etc.).

Migration flows are disrupted

The biggest shocks in the life of birds due to climate change are associated with changes in migratory flows. Most birds traditionally winter in Africa and return to Europe in the spring. But as winters become milder, some species are no longer useful to migrate – a journey that is often long and dangerous (it is necessary, for example, to withstand the sandstorms of the Sahara).

Eurasian hoopoe feed their young.
DDM JC Boyer

This is a case of hoopoe. This bird with its recognizable shrill song is still in between. Some individuals continue to migrate and return to Lot only from March to August, in the usual way. But others become sedentary in the department. If the winters in Lot are milder, the entire hoopoe population is likely to stay in the area forever.

The rate of migration or not remains specific to each person. There are risks to both solutions: the danger posed by migration can kill some birds. Conversely, if the winter gets colder, sedentary people risk dying without getting used to this temperature. “At the moment, this does not endanger the survival of the species,” – optimizes Nathan Findie, as it splits into two parts.

Moreover, there may be competition for food between birds that have been in sedentary conditions for a long time and aliens. Especially in winter, when resources are scarce.

Difficulty feeding

Finding food can be a challenge. First, migratory birds arrive two days earlier every 10 years. With global warming, spring moves for seven days over the same period. “This will inevitably lead to shifts,” says Nathan Findie. “Birds are trying to adapt, but they are no longer migrating at the optimal time to nest and feed their chicks. This could lead to a sharp decline in population.”

Another danger: extreme episodes (such as drought or frost) in usually mild periods. “It will be difficult for the birds to feed the chicks again,” explains the researcher. And whoever says that reproduction is bad, he says that population reduction and, consequently, the risk of extinction of the whole species.

The emergence of new species

As the temperature rises in the department, new species are arriving, which until then lived in much warmer countries. This is the case of a white kite, a small predator. These birds were mostly found in Africa, but in recent years they have moved to Europe. They are now in White Quercy. At the moment, they get along very well with the symbolic peregrine falcon.

The white serpent settles in Lot.

The white serpent settles in Lot.
DDM JC Boyer

In general, common species that adapt very quickly to changing environments will have few problems. In Lot, it’s about magpies. Slightly different observation in specialized species that can live in only one environment. As well as oatmeal ortolan which is met by many in department. This small bird lives in places dotted with trees, such as meadows or meadows, and nowhere else.

Read also:
Lot: IPCC report worries, including the head of the Conservatory of Natural Space

Help preserve wildlife

LPO Occitanie, Lot’s delegation, deals with the environment and, in particular, the various species, whether they fly or not. For example, special attention is paid to the lizard (the largest lizard in Europe), which has a very important bastion in Lot. This species, classified as Vulnerable in the National Red List of Endangered Species established by IUCN in 2015, must live in an open environment to facilitate its movement. With global warming, this reptile moves one kilometer per generation (knowing that they live an average of 5 to 6 years). Therefore, it is necessary to clear the rocky environment so that this lizard with the lizard continues to exist on Lot.

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