Heat waves destroy bird eggs during incubation

Newest Heat wave It is worrisome for birds, their eggs may be damaged by the temperature surge. When extreme higher than normal temperatures occur in an area and continue for several days, bird eggs may not hatch. Scientists warn that this situation could wipe out fragile birds.

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According to a study, the peak heat wave Australian In the summer of February 2017, almost all zebra finch eggs could not hatch. The highest temperature remained above 40°C (104°F) for eight consecutive days. Ideally, zebra finches incubate their eggs at a temperature of approximately 36°C to 38°C.

Related: Scientists warn that the record-breaking heat wave sweeping the West is abnormal

Simon Griffith, a professor and researcher at Macquarie University in Australia, said: “The temperature to kill these embryos is obviously too high for the embryos to bear.” Tell EcoWatch Correspondent Richard Malhotra.

Griffith is part of a larger research team, and he said his team visited hundreds of nest Monitor the state of the eggs before, during and after the heat wave. They tested the eggs to feel the heartbeat of the embryo.

Griffith said: “Before the heat wave, we could still see the heartbeat. After two or three days of high temperature, when we checked the eggs, the heartbeat had stopped.”

Sadly, only 23 out of 25 nests successfully hatched. This resulted in only 2 out of 100 eggs hatching. Even more worrying is that the hatched chicks also died a few days later.

According to Griffith, the zebra finch is highly adaptable birds Can survive in extreme weather. In addition, they can lay eggs frequently at any time of the year.But he warned that the same scene Can be copied for other birds, Especially when the temperature continues to rise.

Andrew McKechnie of the South African National Institute of Biodiversity said: “The widespread heat-related mortality of eggs, similar to the situation recorded here, should be paid special attention to threatened Species. “

In 2020, McKechnie recorded the deaths of more than 100 birds and bats in South Africa. Extremely hotMost of the dead birds are songbirds, although they are tolerant to high temperatures.

Griffith explained that things could get worse because The earth gets hotterHowever, he also believes that birds may adapt and be able to tolerate higher temperatures where there is water. The problem is that high temperatures threaten existing water sources.

“The problematic place is where there is no water,” Griffith said.

by Ecological observation

Image pass William Wobby

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