Arctic Peregrines threatened by an increase in the frequency of heavy rain

| December 7, 2013 | Reply

The Peregrine Falcon is a conservation success story. Almost extinct in many places thanks to the negative effects of chemicals like DDT and also heavy persecution in some places, it has spectacularly recovered in many places in North America and Europe.

Now climate change may pose another threat to Peregrines, at least in the Arctic. Researchers have found that the increasing frequency of heavy rain due to warming summer temperatures is reducing the survival of Peregrine chicks.

Raptor chicks are particularly vulnerable to bad weather in the first weeks of their life when they need their parents (normally the female) to keep them warm and dry.

Heavy and cold rain may kill the young Peregrines when they are still in the nest. But more rain and storms can also have a more indirect effect that leads to starvation. Bad weather could reduce the prey populations and make hunting more difficult for the adult birds.

Climate change has probably many negative consequences for raptors (and other predators) around the globe. Unfortunately we may only know about many consequences when it is too late.

More information about the Arctic Peregrines can be found here:

Rainfall to Blame for Decline in Arctic Peregrines

Category: conservation, raptors

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