Thursday, 15 June 2017

Late-nesting birds, bees face habitat threat

Date: June 12, 2017
Source: University of Exeter

Bird and bumblebee species that nest late in the year are suffering more from the destruction of habitats, new research suggests.

With habitats such as hedgerows and hay meadows in decline in many countries, fewer nest sites are available -- leading to more competition.

The University of Exeter study found that species which nest late -- in April or May rather than February or March -- are declining more than other species, with the larger birds and bumblebees worst affected.

The research goes some way to unravelling the mystery of why numbers of some closely related species -- like the thriving chaffinch and the struggling goldfinch -- are moving in different directions.

"The effects of habitat destruction are complicated, but we must understand them if we are going to save threatened species," said Dr Andrew Higginson, of the University of Exeter.

"The loss of nest sites due to damage to the environment is an important cause of species extinctions.

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