Tanya Farber | 16 November, 2015 12:35
A new study at the University of Cape Town shows that birds are feeling the heat – and a lot more – from changes in climate.
A dozen species in the Western Cape are declining because of changing conditions, according to the study by scientists from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute at UCT in collaboration with the Centre for African Conservation Ecology at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
The study looked at 12 fynbos bird species and compared the information with data captured 15 years prior.
Changes in climate were assessed for the same period and a decline was noted across all species.
Several factors resulting from man-made conditions are pushing them out of their habitats. Heat is one of them, but shifting patterns in fire and rainfall are also proving detrimental.
The study, which will be published in the Oxford University Press journal Conservation Physiology next month, includes some well-known species such as the malachite sunbird and the familiar chat.
Lead researcher Susie Cunningham said the findings could inform plans for better conservation strategies.