Swallows flew to Arctic

Swallows flew to Arctic

September 30, 2020

Biologists note the movement of southern fauna species to the North.

Scientists from the Russian Arctic National Park have recorded for the first time the presence of swallows on Novaya Zemlya, in the southern cluster of the Russian Arctic National Park.

The director of the park, Alexander Kirilov, said that during the summer expedition, scientists observed the avifauna and met new species of birds.

“The most unexpected thing was the presence of the barn swallow and the chiffchaff. Both species are characteristic of more southern regions and have not been previously seen in this specially protected natural area”, explained Alexander Kirilov.

According to him, in early July, at cape Zhelaniya, experts noticed three swallows hunting insects over the freshwater lake Otradnoye. They were seen for the first time in the North. A chiffchaff was seen in the same area on September 8.

Ivan Mizin, deputy director of the Russian Arctic National Park for scientific work, suggested that swallows and other new bird species could have entered the North due to the warming of the climate in the Arctic or with a strong southerly wind.

“Once the park inspectors observed a mallard in the Franz Josef Land archipelago. A species that is completely uncharacteristic of this arctic archipelago. The bird could get there with a strong southerly wind. Of course, in the case of the swallows, the version of the global climate change processes in the Arctic also can be true. We are witnessing the movement of species to the North. Annual monitoring of the territory will help to understand how serious such processes are”, said Ivan Mizin.

In addition to meeting swallows in the summer field season, biologists for the second time in ten years of observations (they have been regularly conducted at cape Zhelaniya since the park was created) have noticed a swan. The bird was seen at the mouth of the stream near the Serebrennikov spit. But, as in the first meeting in 2015, the species could not be determined due to the distance.

The press office of the Russian Arctic National Park also told that camera traps were installed at cape Zhelaniya. Thanks to automatic tracking recorders in the 2019 field season, scientists observed the Arctic fox burrow, confirmed the nesting of the Red Book species of birds – the black goose, and discovered a new bird species for the northern part of Novaya Zemlya – the winchat. The expedition also captured for the first time the black goose and the white-billed loon, the species included in the new edition of the Red Book of Russia.

Earlier, the This is Taimyr wrote that because of the warming climate, meteorologists are going to change the temperature norms for different regions of the planet upward. Also this year, scientists have recorded a record minimum of ice in the Arctic.

Text: Victor Tsaryov, Photo: open sources

September 30, 2020

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