The populations of most types of Finnish water fowl have been declining steadily and aggressively for many years, a new study shows. The results of the study, conducted by the Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute (RKTL) and the Finnish Museum of Natural History, were published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research. Species of water bird whose numbers are swiftly dwindling include the widgeon (Anas penelope), the northern pintail (Anas acuta), the garganey (Anas querquedula), the tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), the pochard (Aythya ferina) and the coot (Fulica atra). Researchers say the drops are due to changes in the birds’ habitat; feeding becomes difficult for water fowl in hypertrophic or polluted waters. The research centre calls the population depletion a ”mystery,” since extra nutrients in the waters should make it easier for birds to feed. Shifts in the food chain may also affect the nutritional intake of young fowls, and small mammalian predators or other birds can eat the young of other species or destroy their nests.
Source: Yle Uutiset, 7 December 2014
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