Landfill sites and nature

Landfills alter the fauna

Landfill sites have particularly negative effects on bird migration. Some birds feed from landfill sites , inevitably ingesting plastic, aluminium, gypsum and other materials that are common among waste, which can even prove fatal.

In addition, another of the dangers posed to birds by landfill sites is that they are altering their migratory activity. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of cases of species that have stopped migrating to the south and are instead choosing to nest in areas near landfill sites thanks to the endless food supply they provide. This is not only detrimental because, as we have seen, this can be a deadly diet for them, but also because their young already tend to ignore traditional migratory behaviour, so the problem is exacerbated with each generation.

But now exciting news from Cory

The Cory tugs and barges are a familiar sight on the Thames

Hoping to see the new vessels

I read this in Wikipedia, about bird migration.

Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south, along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate. Migration carries high costs in predation and mortality, including from hunting by humans, and is driven primarily by the availability of food.

If food is the driver for migration the staying put at a good food supply, eg. a landfill is inevitable. Wikipedia mentions the high mortality costs of migration, so a bad diet at a landfill v the costly migration will determine whether the species concerned thrive or declines. There’s a PhD there for somebody.

The Langebaan Lagoon (see my Stofontein observations) is well known for it’s migrant birds,
Loved seeing the Storks in the farmlands near Cape Agulhas -
The White Stork is, for the most part, a non-breeding Palearctic migrant to southern Africa. Most birds arrive in October and depart by May. **A small number of birds breed in the southern parts of the Western Cape, from near Cape Town to Mossel Bay and Calitzdorp. These breeding birds are apparently resident.14 Mar 2024