New study from members of the Informed birds group and Helsinki Lab of Ornithology shows that as snow depths reduce due to climate change more overwintering birds flock to farmlands. In the case of extreme weather conditions, built-up areas provide shelter to birds during winters. Due to changes in snow conditions, since the 1980s, more birds have been overwintering in Finland with short distance migrants showing the most drastic increases in farmlands. This works highlights that even though snow and temperature covary, these environmental variables could have varied effects on animals. Especially in the polar regions where snow is a key variable, more studies are needed to understand how rapidly warming climates and reducing snow depths mean for the future of faunal communities adapted to snow.
The full manuscript can be accessed at : https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14326