In INDIA, Over 2,000 Dehydrated Birds Treated At Animal Hospital; Climate Change As Cause Of Creature's Thirst Alarms Experts.
An animal rescue group in India says it has cured 250 birds from heat-related illnesses since March. An animal hospital in the western city of Ahmedabad has treated about 2,000 chickens in the past month, many of them sickly and severely dehydrated, and some falling from trees with broken wings. A hospital in the Indian city of Gurgaon said that it had a record number of birds cured of fever, dehydration, and heatstroke as temperatures soared to 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit); that week. Eagle attacks are a prime example of how wildlife affects extreme heat in the West.
As extreme heat becomes more frequent and intermediate temperatures rise, experts worry about the animals' survival and ability to adapt. There are no official data on the effects of heatwaves on birds and other animals. However, Ashwin Viswanathan, an ecologist and researcher at the National Foundation for Nature Conservation in New Delhi, said that climate warming threatens birds. Global warming also impacts their food resources, reproduction, and habitat.
Over the past few decades, hundreds of researchers' projects have documented wildlife responses to global warming. Working independently, the two researchers' groups analysed many previously published papers, providing a striking picture of the impact of climate change on wildlife.
If climate change is the only new problem for birds, one would imagine that many species could adapt to new conditions and survive using existing population variability and the genetic information that their ancestors used to stay in the past climate changes. Instead, animals have gone only a few decades to adjust to changes that have historically taken place over millions of years. The planet has gone through extensive periods of warming, and many animals have been able to adapt to drastic changes. After all, birds evolved from dinosaurs millions of years ago, and today there are between 10,000 and 18,000 species. Even birds that survived this year's migration could be severely affected the next time they reach nesting sites.
Perhaps more problematic, according to Jennifer Sheridan, is that warming will change body size in different ways in different species, destroying relationships between animals. In ecology, a principle called Bergmann's rule suggests that individuals in a population of warm-blooded animals such as birds or mammals will be more prominent in colder climates and more petite in warmer ones. This paper focuses on the challenges that current global climate change poses to annual bird cycles, focusing on the timing of migration and breeding and the mismatch between food availability and the energy-demanding phases of this cycle.