Climate change makes it easier for albatrosses to find food

climate change makes it easier for albatrosses to find food

Winds in the southern hemisphere have increased in intensity and changed to allow majestic albatrosses to reach food more quickly from their breeding colonies.

Under the changed conditions, the animals had gained an average of one kilogram in body weight over the past decades, and breeding success had improved, writes a french-german research team in the journal "science. However, these positive effects of climate change could be short-lived if the wind currents in the antarctic continue to shift.

If climate scenarios for the year 2080 come true, the living conditions of the endangered birds could worsen again, warn scientists. If the westerly winds shift even further toward the south pole, the wandering albatrosses will have to fly further again to find optimal sailing conditions.

Scientists from the helmholtz center for environmental research (UFZ) in leipzig and the french national center for scientific research (CEBC-CNRS) collaborated on the study.

For their study, the biologists analyzed data on the duration of foraging and breeding success over the past 40 years, as well as on the diet and body size of migratory albatrosses on the crozet islands over the past 20 years. The group of islands is located in the southern indian ocean. Researchers tracked the flight of birds with small tracking devices. There are reportedly around 8000 breeding pairs of migratory albatrosses worldwide.

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