Environmental authorities are worried about a huge reduction in Norway’s estimated number of the large bird known as rype (white grouse, or ptarmigan). They say that stocks registered by researchers were cut in half from 2002 to 2012.
Norwegian researchers tracking bird hatchings have been cooperating with colleagues in Sweden and Finland to register fjellrype in a mountain area covering around 250,000 square kilometers. For the first time, reports news bureau NTB, they’ve detected a sharp decline.
Climate change may be linked to the major change in the number of birds counted, according to Miljødirektoratet (the Norwegian Environment Agency). The number of birds that don’t migrate during the winter has declined more than species that spend the winter farther south.
It was one degree celsius warmer than normal in Norway, Sweden and Finland during the decade studied, and there also was more rain.