Nature & Environment

The stressful life of birds

Urbanization is seen happening drastically all over the world. Population of these urbanised regions have increased with people moving from the countryside to the city. As a result, pollution in the surrounding area also increased. What if I say all these changes in our habitat are forcing the birds around our habitat to change with it.
It is true that birds living in the city show a different cognitive and behaviour than that of the birds living in the countryside or village. Serotonin related behaviour such as cognition, aggression, circadian rhythm were all seen more in the birds found in cities, which shows their stressful life survives in the ever growing human population of the city. These characters are transferred from one generation to another. These characters are also seen in village birds but it’s relatively different from that of city birds.
Caroline Isaksson, Senior Lecturer at Lund University said “This indicates that these behaviours, and cognition, are very important in order to live in urban environments with a lot of stress in the form of noise pollution, lights at night, air pollution and constant proximity to people,”who led the study together with her former doctoral student Pablo Salmon.
To study how urban environments affect birds’ genomes, a study has been conducted. This study involves examination of 192 great tits living among the population of Malmö, Gothenburg, Madrid, Munich, Paris, Barcelona, Glasgow, Lisbon and Milan, across European countries. Also the controlled group of great tits which lives away from the urban life. Blood samples of both birds were taken and the difference in their genome is been analysed.
As expected, the results showed that the genomes of urban birds were different from those of villages. “We have analysed more than half a million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (snips) spread over the entire genome. There were a handful of genes that had clearly changed in response to the urban environment,” says Caroline Isaksson. This stress level can be fatal since it shortens the life span of birds
It is surprising because the great tits birds had the same genome across Europe. But as they tried to adapt to urban environmental life they faced different hormonal levels than that of great tits found in rural or forest areas. Clearly indicating the influence of urban life on those you ride the sky and if unchecked they can be dethroned.
Another research was done which was led by Nathan Kleist, then a doctoral student at the University of Colorado to see the effect of noise pollution in birds. Published in the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that the noise caused by the natural gas compressor shows symptoms remarkably the same as that of humans suffering from post- traumatic stress disorder.
It is a clear warning of what we are really doing to those who are around us. These are just a few of the surveys conducted, maybe more if we did dig deep. The damage we did is crystal clear and sadly irreversible.

Related posts

The Coldest place on earth where people live.

Ravi Malhorta

Over 1000 people died in Morocco due to massive earthquake of 6.8 magnitude

Yashaswini R

Why is Parasitic ant called a social parasite?

Ravi Malhorta