Climate change might soon stop the migration of birds from Europe to Africa during the winters in the coming years, suggests a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology. A team of researchers from England's Durham University found that the birds are already spending two extra months in Europe, delaying the natural period of migration during the winters.
As per the experts, the reason for this change is due to the better survivability of the migratory birds in Europe.
Since the migratory birds, like the nightingale and willow warblers are better able to survive in their breeding grounds in Europe, ornithologists say that they might not need to migrate at all in the future. A report by Daily Mail revealed that this prediction was presented after analysing data of over 50 years of trans-Saharan migratory bird sightings spanning from Gibraltar to The Gambia.
This impact caused on the nightingales and willow warblers, which are among Europe's most common migratory birds, are likely to change the dynamics of migration that is undertaken by 4,000 bird species every year. This number makes nearly 40% of the world's total birds who undergo regular migrations.
"The changes in migratory habits we are already seeing could lead to longer breeding seasons for these species, as well as knock-on effects on other species — both here in the UK and in the traditional winter migration destinations", said author Kieran Lawrence as per Daily Mail.
The results derived from the local bird sightings include data recorded by ornithologists in Gibraltar between 1991–2018 and from The Gambia between 1964–2019. Upon observation, the experts noted that many winter migratory birds were arriving at their destinations in the south later than usual but left for the north much earlier.
Stephen Willis, lead author and Durham University bioscientist said that they are now aiming to apply a new model through which they will simulate the complex migrations, Daily Mail reported. This newly reported problem arising due to climate change is just a new addition to a long list that recently included shape-shifting in birds and animals due to the same.