Some songbirds now migrate east to west due to Climate change


2021-11-10 10:43:35



As the chill of autumn encroaches on Siberia’s grasslands, Richard’s pipits usually begin their southward trek to warmer latitudes. But a growing number of the slender, larklike songbirds seem to be heading west instead, possibly establishing a new migratory route for the species. 

This would be the first new route known to emerge on an east-west axis in a long-distance migratory bird, researchers report October 22 in Current Biology. The finding could have implications for how scientists understand the evolution of bird migration routes over time and how the animals adapt to a shifting climate.

 According to report f nearly 867 Indian species makes it very clear that our birds are in overall decline, in some cases catastrophically so. Many more species show a downward trend than an upward trend. Species declining in the long term outnumber those increasing by 135 to 12 (a ratio of 11 to 1); species declining currently (over the past 5 years) outnumber those increasing by 116 to 21 (a ratio of over 5 to 1). When combined with information on range size and supplemented by the IUCN Red List categories, a total of 101 species are classified to be of High Conservation Concern for India. Conservation action must be taken immediately to identify causes of decline and implement measures to halt and reverse the trend for these species.

According to another study Climatic niche modeling using citizen-science bird data suggests that the winter niche suitability has increased in southwestern Europe, which may have led to increased winter survival and eventual successful return journey and reproduction of individuals that initially reached Europe as autumn vagrants. This illustrates that vagrancy may have an underestimated role in the emergence of new migratory routes and adaptation to global change in migratory birds.

Source:  Dufour et al. A new westward migration route in an Asian passerine birdCurrent Biology. , 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.09.086.  SoIB 2020. State of India’s Birds, 2020: Range, trends and conservation status.., Sciencenews