Wildlife is paying a heavy price for the drought in Western Europe

Hecatomb of carp in the thickets of Breton-Vendée, between Noirmoutier and Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Vendée). Death by a large number of deer and deer in the natural park Sierra de Baza, near Granada, in the south of Spain. The asphyxiation of hundreds of frogs after the natural disappearance of Lake Petrus in Mercantour, on the Italian border. The unprecedented drought currently affecting western Europe, the worst since records began in 1959, is a disaster for wildlife.

” Until! We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg”advises Jean-Noël Rieffel, head of the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) in the Center-Val de Loire region. “The situation has worsened and 2022 promises to be a benchmark year in terms of the rate of death of aquatic and terrestrial species”he predicted.

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Beneath the land, unseen, countless insects and invertebrates die in the drought. The soil count is lower than what was recorded during the previous droughts, in 1976 and 2003, according to CNRS measurements. In places, micro-organisms disappear and, with them, the roles they play in the food chain, explains the OFB, an establishment under the supervision of the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Increase in value

This means that wild boar live near water pipes or on the beach. Due to the lack of cattle, caterpillars and caterpillars, as well as snails and slugs, which are usually their replacement food when the first one ends, the hedgehogs pay a lot, going to miles in search of food. Many of them end up on the streets.

A hedgehog is a guard animal. Its behavior gives alarm when the condition of the ecosystem that controls it deteriorates. The same is true of the green tree frog. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), amphibians in lakes, ponds and lakes in the northern part of France are among the first species affected by the drying of wetlands and including water pollution. It is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of endangered species.

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In aquatic ecosystems, the effects of drought are evident. At the beginning of August, in Orléans, the temperature of the Loire rises to 31°C. On July 15, the temperature of the last wild river of the Old Continent, including the Vjosa, in Albania, reached a peak of 32°C. “This unprecedented level is fatal for many fish. It affects important visitors such as the shad or the Loire-Allier salmon, the last wild species in Western Europe, which always come up the river this season.Mr. Rieffel.

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