Friday, August 15, 2008

stick to the simple stuff...

Gosh this was hard work. The title of the paper was "Performance of climate envelope models in retrodicting recent changes in bird population size from observed climatic change". Yes, my spell checker had trouble with retrodicting as well.
The paper itself was all modelling - not good. The supplementary material was pretty much the same, so thank God for the man at Business Weekly who did it all for me.
The message is reasonably simple - rare bird species in the south are increasing their range north (e.e Cirl Bunting, Dartford Warbler) while winter visitors, paradoxically doing the same, are faring worse i.e. Fieldfare and Redwing are staying further north in colder climes and thus are contracting their range.
Using the nesting information from 42 rare breeding birds between 1980-2004 they used climatic models to predict their changes in range. Their work showed, on average that there is the potential for European birds to shift their range by up to 340 miles (Plymouth to Newcastle).
The message for bird-watchers - more species in the summer, less in the winter (unless you too go further north).
Picture taken from www.naturetrek.co.uk

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