BirdLife: The Magazine September 2017 - Page 38

GOING SOUTH AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus Distance travelled 3,000-5,000 km 2 No oxygen? No problem. These sturdy geese might not fly for the longest time, but not other birds consistently fly as high on their migrations. On their travels from their breeding areas in Mongolia, the Tibetan Plateau and northern China to their wintering sites in India, these birds cross over the Himalayas using less than ten per cent of the oxygen available at sea level, reaching altitudes of up to 7,000 m with no help from any tailwinds. While researchers have concluded they do save energy by hugging the mountain ground and flying at night time, scientists are still unsure of the genetics behind their extraordinary resistance. Despite the fact that their population trend appears to be decreasing, this goose has an extremely large range and is categorised by BirdLife as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Photo Wang LiQiang/Shutterstock THE FAT AND THE FURIOUS Great Snipe Gallinago media Distance travelled 6,800 km THE MARCH OF THE PENGUINS Adélie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae Max distance recorded 17,600 km MARATHON MIGRATIONS It’s not all about flying! Flightless birds such as penguins also migrate. This is the case of the Adélie Penguin, known to trek an average 13,000 km (8,077 mi) every year, following the sun from their breeding colony to their winter grounds in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica and back. During the winter, the sun doesn’t rise south of the Antarctic Circle — a chal- lenge to these penguins, who need to have access to the sea to feed on krill. Their solution is to keep walking FFRVFvRbFR6Rv626FVǐWFrGW&rFRg&VWrF2FR7&rFW7FBFRVFvRvRFR6R&V6VFW2FW7FP&V7F2&6VB6ƖFR7VvvW7FrgWGW&PFV6ƖRFV"VF2&R7&V6r'F7V&ǐV7BF&7F6vW&R7BbFV'&VVB02FRvVFW"7F'G2vWGFr6FW"&VBRffRbFRv&N( 2&&B7V6W2FW'BFV"W&WFv&W"6ƖFRआW&^( 26VV7FbW7BfWr7V6W2FBvRfVVvFRWG&֖P&VR&VFfG6fW"6WGFW'7F63$$DĔdR( "4UDT$U"#p"FRW&Vw&Rf6֖vBvFR7&B&6R&V6rWF3#C"vVFfrF6F6&W'WBBFW6( BvFP&FFRVƖVǒvW"bFRf7FW7BrֆVfƖv@vVB&RFRw&VB6R( B7W'&6rvfVrVB6vWB&Vf&RG2vFW"֖w&F'WBvBB60W&G֗6BW2Wf"VW&wvFW@&VǖrFvG2FBvVBVBvf7FW"F07F6&&B2&VV&V6&FVBF&V67VVG0bWFrcfW"F7F6R`bÃB##R֒vVBfƖW2fW"Bg&Х66FfF7V"6&g&6BFW6( @WfVFR'&V2B6W2bG2vVvB0&W7VBFR7V6W22Vf'GVFVǒ676VB'&&DƖfR2V"F&VFVVBGVRF&FB702&W7VBb7&V6vǒFV6fRw&7VGW&R@vWFBG&vR'W76BV&RFvFƖfRv&B6WGFW'7F6