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Peninsula’s role in bird migration at risk

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Migratory birds such as egrets are threatened by climate change. Photo: Getty
Migratory birds such as egrets are threatened by climate change. Photo: Getty

Mérida, Yucatán — The Yucatán Peninsula is a critical layover point for migratory birds, and it is necessary to analyze the effects of climate change and its possible impact on migration and food, a local researcher warned.

Climate change is responsible for altered migratory routes, said Richard Evan Feldman, of the Natural Resources Scientific Research Center of Yucatán.

“Yucatán is the first land mass where birds arrive in their migration from the northern Gulf of Mexico,” said Feldman. “Many require large amounts of energy and come to have their energy replenished to continue their migration.”

According to Notimex, Feldman said there are indications of temperature increase on the Yucatán Peninsula which could create mismatches between when birds arrive and when food is available.

“The hypothesis is that climate has an important influence on the abundance of fruit and other plant resources, and that directly affects migratory birds,” he said.

Feldman spoke in Sisal yesterday at the Festival Alas de Yucatán 2015, or Wings of Yucatán, which concludes today. Wetland tours, bird watching, cycling, craft workshops, Mayan ceremonies and Cuban music have been part of the fourth edition of this event.

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