2023-11-18 – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-67407574?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

Raw: [Wild swans are stopping off further north as winters become milder, experts say.] BBC HomepageSkip to contentAccessibility HelpYour accountHomeNewsSportEarthReelWorklifeTravelMore menuMore menuSearch BBCHomeNewsSportEarthReelWorklifeTravelCultureFutureMusicTVWeatherSoundsClose menuBBC NewsMenuHomeIsrael-Gaza warWar in UkraineClimateVideoWorldUS & CanadaUKBusinessTechMoreScienceEntertainment & ArtsHealthIn PicturesBBC VerifyWorld News TVNewsbeatScienceClimate change: Fewer wild swans returning to UK in winterPublished1 day agoShareclose panelShare pageCopy linkAbout sharingRelated TopicsClimateImage source, Hans-Joachim AugstBy Helen BriggsEnvironment correspondentThe sight of wild swans flying in for the winter is becoming less common in the face of climate change.Scientists say Bewick's swans are changing their behaviour in a warming world, with fewer making it back to the UK and those that do arriving late.A bonded pair of swans named Maisie and Maifield touched down on Thursday at Slimbridge, in Gloucestershire.They are the latest arrivals since 1965, when naturalists started monitoring the returning flocks.And their numbers have dwindled, from an annual flock of 700 to little more than 100.Every year, the majestic waterbirds leave their frozen Arctic breeding grounds for warmer climes. They arrive in late autumn, returning north again in the spring.Image source, WWTImage caption, Maisie, seen here – her partner, Maifield, and their two cygnets arrived on ThursdayKane Brides, senior research officer at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve, said the “saddest fact” was one day the swans may never return to Britain.”This is happening right in front of our eyes,” he said. “Climate change is playing its part here.” The smallest of the UK's wild swans, Bewick's have more black on their yellow bills than Britain's other long-distance migrant, the whooper. Individual Bewick's can be identified by these unique markings.Image source, Hans-Joachim AugstImage caption, Scientists in the Netherlands are tracking the migrations of Bewick's swansAnd monitoring studies using global-positioning-system (GPS) trackers showed they were changing their behaviour, Hans Linssen of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology, said. “Winters used to be colder, so when they came down from Russia they travelled all the way to Britain to be at a comfortable temperature,” Mr Linssen told BBC News. “But these days, winters are warmer, so when they come down, they arrive in Germany and the Netherlands and they think, 'It's good here. I'll stay. I'll not bother to travel all the way to England.'”And northern Germany now seems to be the main area for them to stop and spend the winter.”Image source, WWTImage caption, Numbers are falling because of a host of pressures, including climate changeBut the global population is also declining fast, with threats from:deliberate killinglead poisoning the loss of wetland habitatThis year has broken many temperature records, with the unseasonably hot weather making its mark on the natural world, from jellyfish to birds. Boom in unusual jellyfish spotted in UK watersMigratory birds 'in freefall' over climate changeThe fate of swans returning to Slimbridge is one of the longest-running studies of a single species in the world.Since Sir Peter Scott's first observations 60 years ago, more than 10,000 swans have been recorded.Follow Helen @hbriggs.Related TopicsSlimbridgeClimateEnvironmentBirdsGloucestershireTop StoriesLive. Civilians flee main Gaza hospital on footBiden facing internal dissent over Israel's Gaza campaignPublished22 hours agoX ad boycott gathers pace amid antisemitism stormPublished5 hours agoFeaturesBiden facing internal dissent over Israel's Gaza campaignIs the world warming faster than we expected?Treason and bribery – a history of House expulsions‘Our lives have become a piece of hell in Sudan’War in maps: Ukraine claims foothold across key riverHow has The Crown handled Princess Diana's death?The man behind India’s dream run at Cricket World CupWill Argentina vote in a radical to fix the economy?Miss Universe: Can beauty pageants ever be inclusive?Elsewhere on the BBCThe raunchy books Britain lovesHow humans could travel through timeThe fried chicken served on TitanicMost Read1Taylor Swift 'devastated' as fan dies before show2US woman's dying wish erases $16m in medical debt3The extraordinary firing of an AI superstar4China navy used sonar pulses against divers, Australia says5Fewer cousins marrying in Bradford, study suggests6If I was a fan, I would tear Las Vegas down – Verstappen7X ad boycott gathers pace amid antisemitism storm8Cassie settles legal case accusing Diddy of rape9Bid to bar Trump from Republican ballot rejected10War in maps: Ukraine claims foothold across key riverBBC News ServicesOn your mobileOn smart speakersGet news alertsContact BBC NewsHomeNewsSportEarthReelWorklifeTravelCultureFutureMusicTVWeatherSoundsTerms of UseAbout the BBCPrivacy PolicyCookiesAccessibility HelpParental GuidanceContact the BBCGet Personalised NewslettersWhy you can trust the BBCAdvertise with us© 2023 BBC. 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