The latest bird counts around Lake Annecy (Haute-Savoie) have shown a decrease in birds, in particular the emblematic swans. The cause: global warming and the increasing urbanization on the shores.
There are fewer and fewer birds on and around Lake Annecy. This is the sad observation of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) which carried out counting operations at the beginning of February.
Emblems of the lake, the swans are not spared. Only 22 are currently counted, against 41 last year at the same time. In question: global warming, but also dog attacks and the urbanization of the banks.
The sun has not yet risen but Didier Besson’s mission has already begun: the president of the LPO of Haute-Savoie, binoculars in hand, is on his 4th operation to count the birds of Lake Annecy this winter. The observation is without appeal for him: “It’s the loss.”
video length: 02min 03
Birds are increasingly rare at Lake Annecy
Only 22 mute swans, the emblematic bird of Annecy were downgraded during the last count. This is almost twice less than a year ago. Five swans have died in the past two months.
In question: global warming, the urbanization of the shores but also the attacks of dogs. A regular phenomenon on the shores of the lake: “Dog attacks are recurrent despite the ban. There are quite a few dogs on the Pâquier. At least one in two dogs is not kept on a leash”regrets Didier Besson.
After two hours of observation, Didier Besson found other volunteers: “We didn’t see a scaup. Not a single one”he regrets.
Around the lake, all species are becoming scarce: “There are areas where we saw nothing at all. Even the areas at the exit of the fish farm… Normally, a lot of mergansers are observed in these areas. There, we saw very few of them”, also saddens Dominique, a volunteer.
Everything decreases. So naturally at the end of the chain the birds also decrease.Didier Besson, president of the LPO of Haute-Savoie.
“Now, aquatic plants are growing little. As a result, birds find less to eat than before. There are fewer small invertebrates to eat, less algae… Everything is decreasing. So, naturally at the end of the chain , the birds are also decreasing”explains Didier Besson.
The bird protection league warns: at this rate, some species could disappear permanently from the lake within ten years.