Wild geese change routes to cope with climate change

LONDON-Barnacle geese are choosing new feeding sites to cope with climate change, according to Scottish researchers.
A team from St Andrews University, along with Norwegian, Dutch and British colleagues, found that the birds were flying further north in the Arctic.
The study is one of the first to provide hard evidence that wild animals are inventing new ways to cope with changing habitats.
The findings are based on 45 years of observations by experts. The teams found that the migratory birds, which traditionally fuelled up, or staged, just South of the Arctic circle in Norway now mainly staged in northern Norway far above the Arctic circle.
Individual geese changed to a new route with other geese learning the new habit from each other, according to the findings.
The researchers added that barnacle geese had shifted their migratory route on their journey from the UK to their breeding grounds on Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago, within the last 25 years.
Dr Thomas Oudman of the school of biology at St Andrews, said: “It makes sense that the birds went even further north, because where snow used to be very common there at the time of their arrival in Norway, these days it is often freshly green there: the most nutritious stage.

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