The massive lockdown caused by the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 had many unexpected effects on birds, including air pollution and even the sound of earthquakes on planet Earth. Many have tweeted that #Earth is keen to shed light on the return of wildlife to the once ethno-noisy region (although not all of this has proven true).
While the benefits to nature were not as extensive as they could have been properly, it was probably unexpected that some wild animals could pay less good rent without shaking tourists to roam their homes. A new study published in the Journal of Biological Conservation found that this was the case with a beach colony on the Swedish island of Stora Karlsö in the Baltic Sea. The white-tailed agglomerate (Haliaeetus albicilla) grew sevenfold in the region, not far from the general frustration of Uria aalge.
Although agglomerates do not directly predict moors in their thousands in this region, long-term marine observations show that they had a significant impact on the breeding success of these birds.
The lockdown gives researchers a rare opportunity to gain a better idea of the impact humans have on ecosystems. Interestingly, their findings had a “guardian” effect on the beach colonies of tourists in this region of the world. When they left, the increased presence of white-tailed eagles – which is usually annoying by people – Moore’s productivity is down 26 percent compared to the long-term average.
“One of the emerging lessons of conserving more than a hundred biodiversity is that humans are an integral part of most ecosystems,” the study authors wrote. “Based on our findings, we suggest that human presence can be used as a strategic measure to protect beach colonies, and that a socio-ecosystem approach is essential for long-term success in managing protected areas.”
It is not always in the preservation that human intervention considered a good thing, but researchers believe that this study could prove an interesting consideration for other fields.
“Future field studies will reveal that the return of tourists to Lockdown Island after Covid-19 will ‘normalize’ the situation in the Moore colony or if anthropause have permanently shifted the behavior of eagles to long-term threats to breeding marines,” they concluded. “If the return of tourists improves the condition of the seabirds, we suggest that we could apply the presence of humans in other regions to mediate the disturbance of the suggestion.