The popularity of ski mountaineering as a winter sport is increasing – and with it, impacts on mountain wildlife. In the European Alps, researchers used data from the exercisetracking app Stravato assess these impacts on vulnerable bird species. Understanding how skiers affect their surroundings can help prevent harm to wildlife and maintain a healthy relationship between outdoor recreation and mountain ecosystems.
Many bird species need human structures like old barns and houses to build their nests. Their populations are declining as villages modernize, but this modernization improves rural quality of life and energy efficiency. Avoiding the unnecessary choice between rural development and wildlife conservation will require innovative approaches.