3 Feb, 2020 @ 13:47
1 min read

Storks choose to winter in Spain instead of Africa due to warmer weather and more food

Storks On A Landfill Site  Guwahati  Assam  India   24 Sep 2018
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Carla Rhodes/Solent News/Shutterstock (9943046k) Storks scavenging at Boragaon Landfill in Guwahati Storks on a landfill site, Guwahati, Assam, India - 24 Sep 2018 'Heartbreaking' images show dozens of endangered storks scavenging leftovers at a landfill site which was built on their natural habitat. The birds are left standing in huge piles of rubbish at the dump which is nearly 100 acres. The landfill, which sees hundreds of tonnes of waste dumped there every day, borders the stork's natural wetland habitat and causes devastating pollution. The greater adjutant stork has been categorised as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species since 1994, with only an estimated 1,000 adults left in the world. These harrowing photographs show the storks scavenging at Boragaon Landfill in Guwahati, Assam, India - a city with the largest number of greater adjutant in the world. Boragaon Landfill covers approximately 94 acres of land - equivalent to 70 football pitches. Wildlife photographer Carla Rhodes said witnessing this was 'heartbreaking'.

STORKS have stopped migrating to Africa for winter but instead have been spending the cold months in Spain.

In the 1970s the entire population of European storks would winter in Africa.

They would head for the warm temperatures of Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria.

In recent years however that has changed as 80% of adults now don’t leave the Iberian peninsula, or at most, reach northern Morocco.

The remaining 20% that make the journey to the African continent are the young adults.

Once they reach maturity around four years old they realise the danger they have to face isn’t worth travelling that far south.

SEO/Birdlife, an ornithological NGO are the ones responsible for this study and said: “The information collected clearly shows a change in the migration strategy of white storks in Western Europe”. 

The main reason behind this change in migration seems to be the warmer climate that has been created by mankind, but also the alteration of their natural habitat.

In addition, the massive landfill sites in Spain also offer them vast amounts of food, be it in summer or winter.

Dimitris Kouimtsidis

GOT A STORY? Contact me now: dimitris@theolivepress.es or call +34 951 273 575 or +44 75 358 167 18. Twitter: @dkouimtsidis.
Dimitris has a BA in History from the University of Leeds and an MA in Journalism (Sports) from the University of Lincoln.
He joined the Olive Press team as a journalist in January 2020.

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