Through the River and Over the Woods: Migratory Wildlife on Epic Journeys

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Danube delta pelicans photo
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Every year, birds, fish, and oceanic mammals gear up for the yearly trip they make for survival: migration. How will global climate change effect this journey? Already, some species have members not making the trip, such as the Pacific brant, a small sea goose now wintering in the Arctic. Will global climate change put an end to the epic journeys of migration by selecting for the evolution of non-migraters?

The Danube Delta is Europe's largest wetland reserve, harboring over 300 species including the rare Dalmation Pelican. Pelicans, like these photographed by Manuel Presti, fly in large circles looking for the right winds to take them on their way to Israel, and beyond to Africa.

Pelicans are especially sensitive to water levels, because they are limited in fishing by the length of their bill and pouch. If water levels are high, fish remain too deep for the pelicans to catch.

Photo credit: Manuel Presti for Wild Wonders of Europe

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