Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Craneflys - daddy-long-legs to you and me.

Global warming is killing cranefly larvae such that up to 95% of the population is killed before emergence as adults the following spring. Golden Plover breeding in the uplands is also being altered in accordance with the same rise in temperature.
In this scenario two plus two equals five and the effect is cumulative. According to new research Golden Plover populations in the uplands will disappear within 100 years if they do not adapt, or find new food sources. In the meantime numerous chicks will die of starvation.
Furthermore it is not only Golden Plover that will be affected but all other upland bird species i.e. curlew, that use craneflys as an important source of food.
Ref: Pearce-Higgins et al. Impacts of climate on prey abundance account for fluctuations in a population of a northern wader at the southern edge of its range. Global Change Biology 2009

2 Comments:

Blogger DorsetDipper said...

so this winter will have been a good one for craneflies? and hence a good one for Golden Plover?

10:08 PM  
Blogger drbob said...

as they say on the telly - 'that's the theory', but now we'll have to wait and see if it works in practise. On my local patch there are breeding curlew (which also need craneflys). The local volunteer who does the butterfly surveys has been asked to look out for craneflys as well and comment as to whether she thinks numbers are up or not.

2:37 PM  

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