Climate-Induced Declines in Crane Fly Populations Could Spell Disaster for Some Birds

crane fly photo

photo: Wikipedia

In a very specific example of how changes in one part of an ecosystem have wide reaching effects, researchers in the UK how changes in the crane fly population, caused by warmer summers, are having a severe impact on the population of birds which depend upon them, the golden plover:

Higher temperatures in late summer are killing the cranefly larvae, resulting in a drop of up to 95 per cent in the number of adult craneflies emerging the following spring. With these craneflies providing a crucial food source for a wide range of upland birds like the golden plover, this means starvation and death for many chicks. (Science Codex )

golden plover photo

photo: Wikipedia
Dr Mark Whittingham of Newcastle University says that, "The population of golden plovers in our study will likely be extinct in around 100 years if temperature predictions are correct and birds cannot adapt to feed on other sources." Dr Whittingham also added that the implications of this work could easily also apply to other bird species that also rely on daddy long legs for food, like the curlew.

via: Science Codex
Global Climate Change
Climate Change May Snuff Out 30% of World's Land Bird Species
Blue Jay, 'Herbivore Dilemma' For A Changing Climate
Is It Still a Carolina Wren If It No Longer Calls Carolina Home?

Related Content on