Challenging the climate

By | Science & Technology
Flight of the Godwits credit@Ian McHenry via flickr.com

For the flying champion of the bird world; the Godwit’s ability to judge weather conditions and its adaptability might saved the species.This stealthy bird makes a yearly migration of 11,000 km from Alaska to New Zealand every Autumn. They use the wind to judge when their journey needs to begin and scientists claim as climatic conditions change, the birds are likely to sense when is the correct time to migrate by using the wind.

David Douglas, a wildlife biologist with the United States Geological Survey in Anchorage said “They are very adept and savvy about when to leave Alaska, in being able to pick times when the atmospheric conditions are favorable for the journey to New Zealand, when there are good tailwinds”. This may be one innovative bird. One celebrated Godwit known as “E7”, was recorded by a satellite tag in 2007 to have covered 11,500km in eight days.

Scientists are intrigued by this bird they have modeled its estimated future migration using predictions of atmospheric circulation conditions towards the end of the century. Research shows their migration may move north and there may be limited opportunities for the birds when conditions are optimum. However, the bird has been shown through tracking technology, to be extremely adept at choosing the right moment for migration, and sensing when opportunities for migration arise.

Scientists seem aimful even if food becomes a challenge to obtain in the future and climatic conditions become challenging, this species might still survive and even flourish. Although this news may seem small for scientists affecting the challenges of climate change, this may certainly be a innovative discovery for all animal lovers.

This bird has shown how, even though some humans may think are the strongest species on the planet, other species have abilities and may fare even better than human in the future. It may be likely the adaptable nature of life might continue despite inevitable climate change. It is a demonstration of nature of life, with its ability to change and adapt so it may carry on as well as flourish, even through needful times.

Next year scientisit Dr Battley aims to implant satellite tags into larger male godwits to check the male birds follow the same path as the females. “Some might fly down in flocks with adults however other ones may fly down without any adults involved at all which is pretty amazing,” says Dr Battley. “They’re only two months young and here they are about to fly from Alaska to New Zealand.” His enthusiasm is shared by many, and it reflects the beauty of the animal world, which often proves to be more amazing than it seems.

David Attenborough’s series ‘The Blue Planet’ along with others brings the beauty of the animal kingdom to the mainstream and shows how humans all work to preserve this world and the creatures within it. It is the likes of scientists like Dr Battley who are working to do this, tracking animals and monitoring the environment.

Using a log burner rather than heating in the winter, switching lights off when they are unneeded, walking instead of driving and taking showers rather than baths, are some examples of the many things individuals may strive to do in their everyday lives to contribute to reversing the effects of climate change. It is the news of the adaptability of animals such as the Godwit which may show humans are able to share a planet with the animal kingdom and may prevail.

What more might wildlife teach the human race about the planet?

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