From: ScienceDaily
Published December 4, 2013 07:01 AM

Arctic Peregrines impacted by increasing precipitation

Rain, crucial to sustaining life on Earth, is proving deadly for young peregrine falcons in Canada's Arctic.

A University of Alberta study recently published in Oecologia shows that an increase in the frequency of heavy rain brought on by warmer summer temperatures is posing a threat not seen in this species since before pesticides such as DDT were banned from use in Canada in 1970.


The study is among the first to directly link rainfall to survival of wild birds in Canada.

A nest-box experiment at the heart of the study, co-written by U of A researcher Alastair Franke and Alexandre Anctil of the Université du Québec, has provided "unequivocal evidence" that gradual changes in Arctic temperature and precipitation are responsible for a long-term decline in reproduction for the peregrine, a top predator in the Arctic.

The change in rainfall patterns in recent years has had a big influence on the overall decline in reproductive success over the last three decades, Franke said.

Peregrine falcon photo via Shutterstock.

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