Cyclones starve North Atlantic seabirds


Atlantic puffin. Credit: © David Grémillet

Every winter, hundreds of emaciated seabird carcasses are discovered on North American and European shores.

In an article revealed on the 13 September in Current Biology, a global staff of scientists together with the CNRS has proven how cyclones are inflicting the deaths of those birds. The latter are regularly uncovered to high-intensity cyclones, which might final a number of days, after they migrate from their Arctic nesting websites to the North Atlantic additional south so as to winter in additional favorable situations.

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After equipping greater than 1,500 birds of the 5 essential species involved (Atlantic puffins, little auks, black-legged kittiwakes, and two species of guillemots) with small loggers and by evaluating their actions with the trajectories of cyclones, the scientists have been in a position to decide the diploma of publicity of the birds to those climate occasions.

By modeling the vitality expenditure of birds below such situations, the research suggests, surprisingly, that the birds don’t die from elevated energy expenditure, however because of their incapability to feed throughout a cyclone. The species studied are notably unsuited to fly in high winds and a few can’t dive right into a stormy sea, stopping them from feeding. Trapped throughout a cyclone, these birds will starve if the unfavorable situations persist past the few days that their physique reserves enable them to outlive with out meals.

As the frequency of extreme cyclones within the North Atlantic will increase with climate change, seabirds wintering on this space might be much more susceptible to such occasions.

Cyclones starve North Atlantic seabirds
Flight of a bit of auk outfitted with a GLS system (jap Greenland). Credit: © David Grémillet

How puffins catch food outside the breeding season

More data:
North Atlantic winter cyclones starve seabirds, Current Biology (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.06.059

Cyclones starve North Atlantic seabirds (2021, September 13)
retrieved 13 September 2021

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