Listen here to Episode 1: "Nothing to Eat"
Episode 1: "Nothing to eat"
Anne is studying a small shorebird, a semipalmated plover, or SEPL for short. SEPLs migrate from South America to Churchill, which used to work well in the past, but with climate change, timing of the migration may be off.
Anne is exploring the hypothesis that there is no longer enough insects for the newly hatched chicks to eat because of climate change - earlier and warmer springs mean that the peak in the number of insects occurs earlier too, but the plovers still migrate to Churchill at the same time so their chicks are too late for the peak! This is called the mismatch hypothesis.
To test if the mismatch hypothesis is true, Anne has to do two things:
1. See how fast the chicks are growing
2. See how much food is available for the chicks
Is there enough food to grow? Is there evidence for the mismatch hypothesis? Listen to find out!