Mild winter with an impact on humans and animals



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Mild winter is not optimal for all animals
08.01.2014

Germany has had the mildest winter temperatures for years. Record temperatures around this time were already measured last year. This also has an impact on the flora and fauna. Some people are more concerned about the development of winter temperatures, because in many places there are phenomena that are usually only observed in March or April.

Allergy sufferers will get problems earlier Pollen from trees and grass, which are considered the main cause of allergies, will migrate earlier this year in large parts of Germany than usual. The German Weather Service (DWD) in North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Loads have already been registered in the Frankfurt area, if only to a small extent. Pollen has already started in northern Germany.

Many birds change their habits Some species of migratory birds, such as cranes and starlings, do not appear to travel to warmer regions of the world this year. Some tit species are already looking for nesting sites. The animals here in the country or in the forests simply find enough food at the moment, explains Lars Lachmann from Naturschutzbund Deutschland e.V. (Nabu). Instead of investing time in the search for food, the birds can already start looking for a partner. Even if there were a sudden cold snap, there would be no problem for the animals. "Then the birds move further south or go foraging in the cities," says Lachmann.

Mosquitoes will have a hard time It is widely believed that a too mild winter will be followed by a mosquito infestation. However, the spring-like temperatures in the winter months make little contribution to a high mosquito population in summer. Quite the opposite is true, because insects overwinter well protected in frosty temperatures and the cold can do little to them. The eggs of the insects get problems, however, if the weather is too mild, because then there is an increase in mold and the animals die before they hatch. This also applies to cellars or caves where mosquitoes like to spend the winter. The fungal spores are just too aggressive. Mosquitoes don't bother so much anyway. They prefer to lay their eggs on moist meadows or in pools. It does not matter whether there are plus or minus temperatures, according to the common opinion of mosquito experts.

Ticks like it mild The temperatures are pleasant for ticks, however. They are usually active at six degrees Celsius and go on a blood search. "This is an optimal winter for ticks," explains Christine Klaus from the National Reference Laboratory for Tick-Transmitted Diseases in Jena. However, the expert does not necessarily see a tick plague in people in Germany in a mild winter. If the degree of freezing is too strong, ticks simply withdraw and a spring that is too warm and dry has negative effects on the development of the animals, according to Klaus. According to experts, there is currently no fear of a mosquito infestation next spring. (fr)

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