Ornithology: Contrasting census on the lakes of Neuchatel and Morat – Knowledge

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There are few birds at the start of the year on Lake Neuchatel. The last census of January 12 allowed to count 53,915 individuals, a little more than during the November count but much less than in recent years.

The average of the last five years has fluctuated between approximately 83,000 and 68,000 birds, show statistics released Monday by the association of Grande Caricaie. “We don’t really have an explanation knowing that the censuses have been on the rise elsewhere in Switzerland,” notes Christophe Sahli, responsible for the report. He cites the example of Lake Constance, where the month of January is among the three most important counts since 1967.

Food drop

According to Christophe Sahli, the drop in food could be one of the explanations for Lake Neuchatel. Likewise, the high temperatures may have caused the birds to stay further north. “It is a priori an exceptional year,” he said, adding that it will be necessary to see over time before talking about a possible trend.

The low representation of Common Pochards and Reddish Pochards “strongly” influenced the January total, notes the association. However, there were few other common species, such as the coot (although abundant in November) or mallard duck. Conversely, some birds have been observed more. This is the case of the great egret, which has displayed its maximum since the start of its census.

The Grande Caricaie association was also interested in the numbers of Lake Murten, where 3,499 birds were counted on January 12. This total is stable compared to the last years.

The January 12 census conditions were deemed “perfect”. The very light wind smoothed the lake, allowing easy counting even offshore. This year’s data are therefore “very reliable,” the press release said. (Ps / nxp)

Created: 03.02.2020, 5:20 p.m.

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https://www.24heures.ch/savoirs/recensement-contraste-lacs-neuchtel-morat/story/23704387
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