Storks have stopped their annual migrations due to human interventionism. It seems mankind has a lot of expertise in producing tons of garbage.
Human meddling in the affairs of Nature is not something new. Since primitive man burned down whole areas of grassland, mankind has been pushing Nature to the edge with the many wasteful activities.
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Destruction of wildlife via hunting and fishing causes many species to undergo a loss of habitat. The ensuing climate change due to the release of greenhouse gases has led to wildlife populations migrating to other areas or dwindling in their numbers.
The latest news suggests that we have the capacity to alter or even completely annihilate the migration patterns of animals. This would be a big mistake since it damages the ecological webs more than anything else.
Since many animal species are fast becoming extinct, they have been placed on the endangered species list. They happen to be our #1 priority right now as stewards of the planet. Animal migration patterns are firmly set in their ways and a part and parcel of the fabric of Nature.
The migration trajectories followed by young white storks are common knowledge among biologists. These birds are being influenced by human communities that lie along the route of their journey.
Where the storks stop on the way to their destination and for how long is determined by mankind. This might surprise many, but it is true.
Sometimes the young storks stop their journey midway and remain at landfills feeding on the scraps of food thrown by human beings in the garbage heaps. The waste products cast aside by mankind may serve as a nutritional attraction to the young white storks.
"There is some sort of human impact that causes these birds to change their migration strategy," she told BBC News. "Those that stay north of the Sahara seem to have advantages from feeding on these landfill sites in Morocco."
"For a white stork it's a good place; they find a lot of food there. But of course it's a risk; one wrong food and they're dead."
GPS gadgets were employed to track the storks. Over eight different populations of the white storks were followed consistently. These storks are found in Europe and parts of Asia and Africa.
The storks came from many countries. They normally migrated southwards. The less energy expended by the storks, the more likely they were to reach their destination.
However, these storks made use of human resources along the way and this disrupted their migration patterns. The frequent feedings at garbage dumps were responsible for this halt in the course of a natural instinctive rhythm among the rare birds.
The problem is that this disturbs the eco-webs that have been going on since times immemorial. These birds also tend to play a role in seed dispersal upon the completion of their journeys. And with this break in the pattern of their lives, the ecological consequences are profound.
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The study published in Science Advances.