Are Winter Sports A Threat To Alpine Wildlife?



As the global warming factor is rapidly increasing day-by-day, people are still not taking concern for environmental protection? At least this is what seems today due to the present deteriorating conditions. The lower heights snow is melting swiftly and people in the chase to grab fun and adventure climb at higher escalations. This human tendency has pestered the environment and animals alike.

Adventurous activities comprising of winter sports like Off-trail skiing, snowboarding, trekking, snow climbing are imposing major menace to the flora and fauna of the Alpine. These fun activities are paid off by the wildlife as it causes stress for the Alpine wildlife which is found by the scientists. “Royal Society’s journal Proceedings B” also concludes by reporting that these sports underscore a new threat to the wildlife.

winter sportsAlso through research led by “Raphael Arlettaz of the University of Bern and the Swiss Ornithological Institute,” it has been discovered that in the Alps areas which are dominated for winter sports have had an adverse impact on the black grouse. They have been leaving the hormone ‘corticosterones’ which are akin to stress.

Not only the human activities are causing a poor impact on their lowering numbers, but also compelling the wild species to abandon their shelter and get out in the open atmosphere in search of a new habitat. It has been found that each time, the wild species come out seeking for their food, they leave their place of shelter and create burrows or igloos in the snow. This activity takes place two times a day, once when they get out in the morning and another during the twilight when they come out searching food.

Scientist from Switzerland and Austria discovered that, “the lower elevated areas have a faster melting of snoAlpine wildlifew, which has added to their predicament to seek shelter in alpine areas.” While conducting the research, they scrutinized the feces of the black grouse, wherein they discovered that the faecal matters found in the areas which were influenced by human activities had raised the level of stress hormones i.e. ‘corticosterones’ up to 20% compared to faecal matter that were gathered from the areas where human distraction was not there. All this research concludes to the point that as the birds change their home grounds perpetually, the energy and reproduction levels exhaust leading them to a premature death.

The scientists suggests that “Only the creation of suitable protected wintering refuges will enable the Alpine fauna to endure the growing pressure exerted by human activities on these vulnerable mountain ecosystems.” It’s high time now and the human beings essentially need to understand that the cost of their activities is being paid off by the innocent creatures.

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