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.

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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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