Why Do Animals Migrate?

Every year animals migrate thousands of miles. They fly, swim, walk, and drift in order tofind food, a better climate, and places to breed. The best place to breed may not have the best place to find food. But why make the several thousand mile journey? The resources on Earth vary greatly. Summer months may be followed with extremely cold weather. Plants and food may only be abundant for a short period of time. Animals will generally follow to the warmers places and get away from the cold places. Scientists think the animals use an innate sense to point them in the right direction as the generations before them did. If they wait too long to migrate they may lose the chance to stock up on food or get the competitive edge when they get there. When they travel their long distance they use things that already exist, birds extend from short to long flights. 

Where animals stop and rest to get food and water is where a lot of pathogens are. Parasites have transmissions that can build up in the location where the animals live. When the animals migrate it gives them a chance to get away from the parasites where they can get harmed. When the animals are absent the parasites population reduces. Many scientists believe that humans are responsible for spreading disease in the migrating animal. In the warmer climate places there is no need as there is food all year long that causes the effect of parasites settling in to the environment. Migration has been around for millions of years and is not going to change if it did there would be a lot more cases of parasitic infections.

Migration has played a key role in the HIV epidemic in Africa. The movement moves in a cycle. Young men go to work in factories or mines and return a couple times a year to their wives. HIV was 26% in migrant men and 21% in their partner opposed to under 5% where there is no migration. In the same way, China and India could turn out to be the same as South Africa unless the right prevention is put forward. 

Assisted migration is the movement of plants or animals to another place to use it as a survival technique. Assisted migration is mainly used to increase the productivity to brace themselves for the climate change. There is seed zones which is designated to capture the genetic diversity. Foresters want to maximize the productivity of the land for the next 40 years and see where it ends up.Scientists are focusing on land where no one is sure what will happen.

Animals migrate for all different reasons. For many of them it is a necessity because they need to move around for food or breeding reasons.

Why do you think animals migrate?

How do they migrate?

Do you think it is instinctive for the animals? 

6 thoughts on “Why Do Animals Migrate?

  1. This was a very information filled article, I really like reading it. I had to do some research on animal migration myself so I looked up how far some animals go to get somewhere warm in the winter. On this site http://www.livescience.com/10235-animals-migrate.html it said that some butterflies fly up to 2,000 miles, but the top is humpback whales with up to 5,000 miles! They go to their “destination spot” because of natural instinct and because of the Earth’s fluctuations of being to cold in the winter or to hot in the summer for some animals. I found your blog post very interesting and it was cool to read. I did not know that it has a key role in the HIV academic in Africa, that was very interesting.

  2. Many different animals migrate and they all do it for about the same reason. Animals will travel up to thousands of miles in search for food because in cold months it’s harder for certain animals to find the food they need to serve. Also if the weather gets too cold specific types of animals can’t handle it so they have to migrate to warmer climates. The main reasons animals migrate are the climate, food, and breeding. All three reasons all connect to each other in one way or another. Different animals need climate and food designed to their needs to maintain proper health for themselves. http://www.livescience.com/10235-animals-migrate.html

  3. The biggest reason for animal migration is in an effort to find a better habitat for living. The humpback whale can travel up to 5,000 miles in one direction in an effort to reach the warmer waters around Hawaii that are ideal for reproduction and raising their young. Although being a small animal, the monarch butterfly is still able to travel 2,000 miles to escape temperatures that would make it impossible for them to fly, and eventually kill them. They typically travel to the Californian Coast or mountainous regions in Mexico for warm weather. Each animal has its own reasons for travelling to other areas in the world, and it is just one of the things that make animals so interesting to study.

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