Britain is Facing a Summer of “Wildlife Tragedy”
Britain is facing a potentially heartbreaking and tragic summer:
Much of Britain’s wildlife, from dragonflies to water voles, faces a difficult summer because of the drought, the Environment Agency has warned.
Water levels in rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands are so low – and getting lower – that a whole series of species may be unable to breed or may die if the rain stays away, the agency says.
For example, it says, the traditional summer scene of dragonflies skimming over a glistening stream could be a rare sight in parts of England this year. Other species that will be severely affected if the drought continues include freshwater fish, great crested newts and wading birds such as curlews and lapwings.
Some parts of the country have seen the driest 18 months since records began, and in drought-affected areas it is likely that some streams, ponds and shallow lakes will be completely dry before aquatic insects such as dragonflies are fully formed, and the insects will consequently perish.
Wading birds will also suffer as suitable wetland breeding sites dry up. Waders such as the snipe, redshank, lapwing, curlew and black-tailed godwit all need moist soils to probe with their long bills to extract food such as worms. These species have declined rapidly in much of England in recent decades and this spring drought could be the final straw at some of the smaller breeding sites.
Falling water levels in ditches and streams will leave water-vole burrows exposed to predators such as stoats and weasels. Long dry spells and low soil-moisture levels can also lead to the death of some trees – especially beech and birch – and the fruits of trees and shrubs are likely to be smaller in size. Forest fires also become an increasing concern.
And then of course a domino effect sets in and the insect population that serves as food for wading birds explodes and the animals that eat dragonflies die off, and the birds that depend on the fruit of stressed trees and shrubs will suffer etc., etc., etc.
But hey, not to worry. This is probably just a fluke. The notion of climate change being a real thing is just a “litmus test” for hippie, radical, tree-hugging environmentalists according to many of our “wise” men, most notably Rick Santorum.
Entry filed under: The Environment, Weather, Etc..