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Swallows Return from South 16 Days Earlier

Posted August. 30, 2007 06:12,   


Migratory birds seem to be changing their migration habits because of climate changes from global warming.

The Korea National Park (KNP) announced on August 5 that its survey of 82 kinds of migratory birds that depart southeastern parts of China, such as Shanghai, Fuzhou and Hong Kong in spring and that fly back to Hongdo in Tadohae National Park showed that 13, including swallows and whistle birds, had migrating periods that came 16 days earlier.

The swallows that returned to Hongdo on March 20 last year were seen for the first time on March 4, 2007, 16 days earlier. A dusky thrush was also seen on March 5 this year, 13 days earlier than last year’s March 18 sighting.

A kingfisher (36 days earlier), night heron (32 days earlier), white-rumped swift (31 days earlier), and whistle bird (28 days earlier) were all seen approximately a month earlier. In contrast, a Daurian redstart and a mountain finch were seen about an average of 11 days later than the previous migratory span.

The KNP noted that the lowest temperature in Hongdo of Korea and southeastern parts of China went up 0.5 to 2.0 degrees this year compared to March 2006. The KNP also added that some migratory birds’ migrating spans were late because climate changes affect different kinds of birds differently.

Chae Hee-young, an expert from the migratory birds survey center at the KNP, said, “Advanced countries have already started to research climate change by surveying migratory birds decades ago.” He noted, “Korea also should conduct related research by realizing that migratory birds are indicator species (species that signal specific environmental conditions) of climate change.”