Red grouse: To white for the Winter

white as snow, the subtle shades of brown: What is Arctic Fox and snow Bunny can is also a master of the moorland snow chicken (Lagopus lagopus). By adjusting t

Red grouse: To white for the Winter

white as snow, the subtle shades of brown: What is Arctic Fox and snow Bunny can is also a master of the moorland snow chicken (Lagopus lagopus). By adjusting the Outfit of the Season, it remains always well camouflaged. But recently, the climate change makes him a dash through the bill. What time is the Moor ptarmigan changes its plumage, depends on the length of the day. When the Winter is coming later and leaving earlier, faced the white birds are, therefore, often with a snow-free environment. Most striking, they are likely to be to prey more easily. It was confirmed this presumption now of Finnish researchers led by Markus Melin and Katja icons from the Natural Resources Institute Finland in Joensuu.

In their research, the scientists focused on the southern Population of the bog schneehuhns. In contrast to the Northern Population, the romps in the treeless Tundra areas of the southern in the Finnish forest home. More precisely, populated you Moore, are surrounded by forest. To make these, by nature, largely tree-free areas of the forest used for agriculture, were drained between the fifties and eighties of the last century, more than eighty percent of the bog Woodland and planted. Under this change in black grouse and capercaillie had to suffer, but most of the moorland snow chicken. It's no wonder that this bird in the forests of Finland increasingly rar made.

That, since the nineties, alongside economic and ecological points increasingly play a role, has stopped the destruction of the forest of Moore. In addition, were re-wetted by the year 2013 two hundred square kilometres of dry-laid Moor again. The associated hope that the moorland snow chicken breed in the newly created biotopes, again, is not fulfilled, however. Although the hunting of these chickens birds has been restricted or even banned completely, the decline in Population further. In search of the decisive cause, were able to draw the researchers working with Melin on the counts of a twenty year Monitoring program. The frequency of Fox and pine marten, to have it apart, sometimes the moorland snow chicken, was included in the analysis. Information about the local snow height of the Finnish meteorological Institute provided.

ptarmigan in summer colors

The number of days without Snow cover proved to be the only factor that influences the number of the moorland snow chicken in the following year significantly. As Melin and his colleagues in the "Scientific Reports", the reports showed that their model accounts, that the Population per snow shrinks the open day in April to about three percent. Since it is now only a single day, but sometimes more than ten, this connection is alarming.

Although an early snow melt has the advantage that the moorland snow chicken berries easier access to moss and other tidbits to come. If you wear a completely white plumage, stands out clearly from the brown Moor, the but fatal. Already in the thirties, when the southern Population of the bog schneehuhns had decreased after a few unusually short winters rapidly, are gripping get birds like the Goshawk in suspicion. Because prey animals, which differ in color considerably from your environment, it is expected this fall, sharp-eyed hunters, particularly in the eye.

Updated Date: 27 June 2020, 12:21

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