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.
Jouke Prop, associated member of the Arctic Centre is not only co-author of this article, he has been essential in collecting the goose data for this article. For almost 40 years he is every summer on Nordenskjöldkysten, Spitsbergen to work on his long-term data collection.
The research has been published in the journal Global Change Biology.
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