Confused African Pelicans End Up in Siberia: Thanks, Global Warming.


Photo: Rainbirder under a Creative Commons license

Russia's been having a record breaking autumn weather-wise, with temperatures in Altai, in southwestern Siberia, remaining as high as 41° Fahrenheit. And it looks like the balmy weather has attracted some new residents: on Tuesday, a flock of seven African pink pelicans landed in the village of Suslovo, reported Reuters. The birds, which had spend the summer in Kazakhstan, should have been flying south to winter in Africa. But that's where global warming stepped in. Confused by the unnaturally high temperatures to the north, the pelicans, all barely a year old, flew in the wrong direction.Of the seven birds, four were captured by locals, and are currently being housed at a zoo in the nearby city of Barnaul. They will most likely be kept there for the winter, the zoo director said, out of fear for their safety. The three pelicans that were not captured flew away, and have not been seen since.

It can't be denied that climate change is the culprit in this story- experts say that Russia is particularly exposed to the impact of global warming. The recent heatwave that drew the pelican flock to Siberia also killed off 25 million acres of crops, prompting President Dmitri Medvedev to call the event a "wake up call" to the threat of climate change. Add a group of heat-addled pelicans to a looming agricultural disaster, and hopefully the rest of the country will come to the same realization.

More on the impact of climate change on animals:
9 Ways Climate Change Has Animals Running (Flying and Swimming) for Their Lives
Should Humans Assist Animals Migrate So Climate Change Doesn't Kill Them?
'Unsung' Species Stressed by Climate Change Too

Tags: Birds | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Effects | Russia

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