Study shows loss of migrating birds
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Wednesday, 04 December 2013 09:05


A study carried out by Queens University in Belfast has discovered that the largest lake in Ireland, Lough Neagh, now has fewer than 21,000 migrating birds. This compares to 100,000 ten years ago – an 80% reduction. 

The study relates to the diving duck – of which there are four main kinds: the tufted, goldeneye, pochard and scaup. Generally they are common in both Ireland and England during the winter months, but it is thought that they have stopped making the journey to Ireland. 

Other studies have shown a similar decline and may even suggest that the problem will get worse. It is thought that winter temperatures which are 3.8 degrees Celsius higher than they used to be in Northern Europe have meant that birds no longer need to migrate at all. They are able to feed all year long in one place. The eco-system of Lough Neagh has also changed over the years with a decline in insects and snails.