Britain's Flooding Apocalyptic for Wildlife

As the U.S. wallows in a drought covering over 50% of the country, Great Britain has experienced widespread flooding, which is proving apocalyptic for wildlife  .  The wet weather, caused by a southern shift in the powerful jet stream  , means the British Isles have been pelted by unrelenting rain for the last few months.

puffinFollowing the wettest April-June on record and heavy rain in July - bee, bat, butterfly and many bird species are suffering. Some endangered and isolated species could be wiped out altogether. One such bird is the always-adorable Puffin. 90% of Puffin burrows were lost due to flooding. Puffins drowned in about half of these burrows.

The image of baby birds drowning is too painful, but some babies didn’t even get a chance to spring into existence.  The cold weather caused a decrease in pregnancies among bats, while others are giving bird to underweight pups because nutrition (read insects) is harder to come by in these wet conditions.

The chill has hurt amphibians, who had an unusually dry winter to do an increased amount of breeding in, but they are now faced with a full pond of chill water that is too cold for newts, toads and frogs.

Other species populations will take years to repopulate.  Birds like the lowland snipe had one third of their nest destroyed in England and Wales   when their delicate marshy habitats were flooded.

slugs and snailsScientists can only keep their fingers crossed that more of this frigid rain is not in the forecast and that next year stacks up to be a much dryer and warmer summer.

But, not all wildlife has suffered.  Less than cuddly slugs and snails are thriving – an announcement that surely delighted gardeners across the entire realm. Record rainfall has already meant extra time with the clippers for this green group who are readying their gardens for millions of Olympic visitors.  One can imagine the Olympic athletes and officials thrilled by the majestic slugs sliding gracefully across many Olympic venues and lawns.

 

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  • Posted on Aug. 1, 2012. Listed in:

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