Animal migration to northern latitudes: environmental changes and increasing threats

Vojtěch Kubelka, Brett K. Sandercock, Tamás Székely, Robert P. Freckleton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


Every year, many wild animals undertake long-distance migration to breed in the north, taking advantage of seasonally high pulses in food supply, fewer parasites, and lower predation pressure in comparison with equatorial latitudes. Growing evidence suggests that climate-change-induced phenological mismatches have reduced food availability. Furthermore, novel pathogens and parasites are spreading northwards, and nest or offspring predation has increased at many Arctic and northern temperate locations. Altered trophic interactions have decreased the reproductive success and survival of migratory animals. Reduced advantages for long-distance migration have potentially serious consequences for community structure and ecosystem function. Changes in the benefits of migration need to be integrated into projections of population and ecosystem dynamics and targeted by innovative conservation actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages12
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
Early online date24 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022


  • climate change
  • food supply
  • nest predation
  • parasites
  • population dynamics
  • trophic interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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