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Global climate change affecting migratory animals in Indiana

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Indianapolis, Indiana – A recent United Nations climate report claims that migratory wildlife in Indiana is being impacted by global climate change.

According to the paper, rising temperatures and unpredictable weather have an impact on all migratory animals on the planet. These problems are leading to the migration of new species northward and confusing animals that migrate south for the winter.

These alterations could have an impact on many different ecosystems.

The Indiana Wildlife Federation’s executive director, Dan Borrit, claimed that climate change is happening too quickly for creatures that migrate, which have developed over millions of years, to keep up.

“We have measurable changes in migration patterns in decades scales,” Borrit said. “Temperatures are rising by nearly a degree a decade in some places, and it is essentially throwing a system that has to work in perfect harmony for its success out of whack.”

According to Borrit, rising temperatures are bringing on early springtime, which means migratory animals may miss the best times of the year for breeding and foraging.

“If they’re getting there too late, the grass has already emerged,” Borrit said. “The insects have already hatched and started to move away. They missed peak time for nourishment.”

Disrupting these processes has repercussions, according to Eagle Creek Ornithology Center naturalist Donna Riner.

“We need these animals to reduce our insect populations by consuming those insects and helping us with agriculture,” Riner said. “They’re also important seed dispersers so our forests are going to change without the birds around.”

Eagle Creek Ornithology Center volunteers are people like Donna McCarty. She claimed to have observed a change in the birds’ migration northward throughout the 48 years she has been bird-watching in the park.

“Great egrets. We see them a lot more than we used to,” said McCarty. “It used to be that in the late summer-fall, we’d get a few, but now some of them can be found year-round in the state. On the other hand, some warblers that used to nest here don’t.”

To help scientists better understand the populations, McCarty will participate with other volunteers in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Sunday. The goal of the count is to count and identify the species of birds that call the Eagle Creek neighborhood of Indianapolis home.

Indiana’s wildlife is not the only thing feeling the effects of climate change. Some of the problems that Indiana’s animals are confronting are also experienced by sea creatures and other species.

 

 

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