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?