, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 85-94
Date: 06 Jun 2008

Seasonal patterns of habitat selection of the House Sparrow Passer domesticus in the urban landscape of Valencia (Spain)

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The habitat selection and the factors influencing the distribution of the House Sparrow Passer domesticus in the municipality of Valencia (76 km2) were studied during the winter and breeding season. House Sparrows positively selected urban parks and gardens, patches of derelict land and horticultural fields; they avoided the built-up habitat and the orange groves. In the urban landscape, the abundance of sparrows peaked in areas providing intermediate cover of the built-up habitat; it was positively driven by the amount of park land per unit area, and negatively by the size of urban parks. Our results suggest that the conservation and habitat enhancement of even the smallest parks and gardens are likely key factors in addressing the decline of the House Sparrow in many cities.

Communicated by F. Bairlein.