A study published by the BMC Ecology journal presents a recent discovery about the Pacific dunlin.
It was proven that they have lost weight in order to be able to fly more due to the increasing number of the peregrine falcon, their enemy in the air. Some years ago, the Pacific dunlin enjoyed a nice afternoon “layback” in the cold winters of the British Columbian Fraser River Estuary, now they have to dramatically change their lifestyle and adjust to the increasing number of falcons by eating less, getting fit and flying more.
Ronald Ydenberg, a researcher from the Simon Fraser University, has concluded that the fat deposits that the dunlins used to store during the winter time can now be fatal to their survival, although they can be very important because the Canadian winter also brings along food shortages.
When faced with the decision whether to stay, eat and be hunted or fly away to safer places, the Pacific dunlins have rapidly made their choice: a choice undoubtedly dictated by the instinct of the conservation of the species.
A Pacific dunlin’s usual weight has lowered with about two to four grams in the last forty years, but that has assured them the capacity to stay in the air over the ocean for longer periods of time and this way escape their falcon predators.
If we are not careful , this may also apply to us.