Alien birds are widely distributed across the globe, but information on their environmental impacts is available for less than a quarter of the regions in which they are located. We test a series of hypotheses better to understand why impact data are available for some regions but not others. Information on factors hypothesised to influence spatial variation in the availability of impact data were collated for 60 regions with actual, recorded alien bird impacts, and 187 regions without. These data were analysed using mixed effects models. The characteristics of alien bird invasions most strongly influence the availability of impact data, which are more likely to be available for regions with higher alien bird species richness and longer alien bird residence times. There are many regions of the world that lack impact data but are characterised by high alien bird species richness and long alien bird residence times: it is likely that the impacts of alien birds are going unnoticed within them. To a lesser extent, impact data are also more likely to be available for regions characterised by higher economic development. Improving the capacity for research amongst less developed regions may therefore be a key strategy to improve our understanding of the impacts of alien birds. Impact data availability was not found to be associated with impact severity, and therefore we cannot conclude that regions lacking impact data do so because the impacts sustained within them are less severe.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Auersperg AMI et al (2011) Flexibility in problem solving and tool use of kea and New Caledonian crows in a multi access box paradigm. PLoS One 6(6):e20231. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0020231
Bartoń K (2018) MuMIn: multi-model inference. R package version 1.40.4. https://cran.r-project.org/package=MuMIn. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Bates D et al (2015) Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. J Stat Softw 67(1):51
Bellard C, Jeschke JM (2015) A spatial mismatch between invader impacts and research publications. Conserv Biol 30(1):230–232. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12611
Bellard C, Genovesi P, Jeschke J (2016) Global patterns in threats to vertebrates by biological invasions. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 283:20152. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2015.2454
Bivand R, Lewin-Koh N (2017) maptools: Tools for Reading and Handling Spatial Objects. R package version 0.9-2. https://cran.r-project.org/package=maptools. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Bivand R, Rundel C (2017) ‘rgeos: interface to Geometry Engine—Open Source (GEOS). R package version 0.3-23.’ https://cran.r-project.org/package=rgeos. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Bivand RS, Pebesma E, Gomez-Rubio V (2013) Applied spatial data analysis with R, 2nd edn. Springer, New York
Bivand R, Keitt T, Rowlingson B (2017) ‘rgdal: Bindings for the Geospatial Data Abstraction Library. R package version 1.2-8. https://cran.r-project.org/package=rgdal. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Blackburn TM et al (2014) A unified classification of alien species based on the magnitude of their environmental impacts. PLoS Biol 12(5):1–11. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001850
Blackburn TM, Bellard C, Ricciardi A (2019) Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions. Front Ecol Environ 17:203–207. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2020
Carrascal LM et al (2008) Explanations for bird species range size: ecological correlates and phylogenetic effects in the Canary Islands. J Biogeogr 35(11):2061–2073. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2008.01958.x
Diamond AW (2009) In: Diamond AW (ed) Studies of Mascarene island birds. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Dyer EE, Redding DW, Blackburn TM (2017) The global avian invasions atlas, a database of alien bird distributions worldwide. Sci Data 4:170041
Early R et al (2016) Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities. Nat Commun. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12485
Evans T et al (2014) Comparing determinants of alien bird impacts across two continents: implications for risk assessment and management. Ecol Evol 4(14):2957–2967
Evans T, Kumschick S, Blackburn TM (2016) Application of the Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT) to a global assessment of alien bird impacts. Divers Distrib 22(9):919–931. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12464
Evans T, Pigot A et al (2018a) Determinants of data deficiency in the impacts of alien bird species. Ecography 41(8):1401–1410. https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03232
Evans T, Kumschick S et al (2018b) Identifying the factors that determine the severity and type of alien bird impacts. Divers Distrib 24(6):800–810. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12721
Fox J, Weisberg S (2011) An R companion to applied regression, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks (CA)
Freed LA, Cann RL, Bodner GR (2008) Incipient extinction of a major population of the Hawaii akepa owing to introduced species. Evol Ecol Res 10(7):931–965
Fristoe TS, Iwaniuk AN, Botero CA (2017) Big brains stabilize populations and facilitate colonization of variable habitats in birds. Nat Ecol Evol 1(11):1706–1715. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0316-2
Goodenough A (2010) Are the ecological impacts of alien species misrepresented? A review of the “native good, alien bad” philosophy. Commun Ecol 11(1):13–21. https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.11.2010.1.3
Grarock K et al (2013) Does human-induced habitat modification influence the impact of introduced species? A case study on cavity-nesting by the introduced common myna (Acridotheres tristis) and two australian native parrots. Environ Manag 52:958–970. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-013-0088-7
Hijmans RJ (2016) raster: Geographic Data Analysis and Modeling. R package version 2.5-8. https://cran.r-project.org/package=raster. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Kumschick S, Nentwig W (2010) Some alien birds have as severe an impact as the most effectual alien mammals in Europe. Biol Conserv 143(11):2757–2762. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2010.07.023
Kumschick S, Bacher S, Blackburn TM (2013) What determines the impact of alien birds and mammals in Europe? Biol Invasions 15(4):785–797. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-012-0326-6
Kumschick S, Bacher S et al (2015a) Comparing impacts of alien plants and animals in Europe using a standard scoring system. J Appl Ecol 52:552–561. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.12427
Kumschick S, Gaertner M et al (2015b) Ecological impacts of alien species: quantification, scope, caveats, and recommendations. Bioscience 65(1):55–63. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu193
Kuznetsova A, Brockhoff P, Christensen R (2017) ‘lmerTest package: tests in linear mixed effects models. J Stat Softw 82(13):1–26
Linnebjerg JF et al (2010) Diet composition of the invasive red-whiskered bulbul Pycnonotus jocosus in Mauritius. J Trop Ecol 26(03):347. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467409990617
Maklakov AA et al (2011) Brains and the city: big-brained passerine birds succeed in urban environments. Biol Let 7(5):730–732. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2011.0341
Martin-Albarracin VL et al (2015) Impact of non-native birds on native ecosystems: a global analysis. PLoS One 10(11):e0143070. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0143070
McCallum D (2005) A conceptual guide to detection probability for point counts and other count-based survey methods. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-191
Measey GJ et al (2016) A global assessment of alien amphibian impacts in a formal framework. Divers Distrib 22(9):970–981. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12462
Pyšek P et al (2008) Geographical and taxonomic biases in invasion ecology. Trends Ecol Evol 23(5):237–244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2008.02.002
R Core Team (2017) R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. https://www.r-project.org/
Ryall C (1992) ‘Predation and harassment of native bird species by the Indian House Crow Corvus splendens, in Mombasa, Kenya. Scopus 16:1–8
Sayol F et al (2016) Environmental variation and the evolution of large brains in birds. Nat Commun. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13971
Seebens H et al (2017) No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nat Commun 8(14435):1–9. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14435
Shine C, Reaser JK, Guiterrez AT (2003) Invasive alien species in the Austral-Pacific Region. National Reports & Directory of Resources. Global Invasive Species Programme, Cape Town, South Africa. http://www.issg.org/pdf/publications/GISP/Resources/AP-1.pdf. Accessed 10 Jan 2019
Shirley SM, Kark S (2009) The role of species traits and taxonomic patterns in alien bird impacts. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 18(4):450–459. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00452.x
Shultz S et al (2005) Brain size and resource specialization predict long-term population trends in British birds. Proc R Soc B 272(1578):2305–2311
Sol D et al (2007) Big-brained birds survive better in nature. Proc R Soc B 274(1611):763–769. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2006.3765
Sol D et al (2008) Brain size predicts the success of mammal species introduced into novel environments. Am Nat 172:S63–S71. https://doi.org/10.1086/588304
Sol D et al (2012) Unraveling the life history of successful invaders. Science 337(6094):580–583
Sol D et al (2014) Urbanisation tolerance and the loss of avian diversity. Ecol Lett 17(8):942–950. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12297
Strubbe D, Matthysen E (2009) Experimental evidence for nest-site competition between invasive ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) and native nuthatches (Sitta europaea). Biol Conserv 142(8):1588–1594. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2009.02.026
Turbelin AJ, Malamud BD, Francis RA (2017) Mapping the global state of invasive alien species: patterns of invasion and policy responses. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 26(1):78–92. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12517
Wilson KA et al (2016) Conservation research is not happening where it is most needed. PLoS Biol 14(3):e1002413. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002413
TE is supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) London Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Electronic supplementary material
Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.
About this article
Cite this article
Evans, T., Blackburn, T.M. Global variation in the availability of data on the environmental impacts of alien birds. Biol Invasions 22, 1027–1036 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02153-z
- Alien birds
- Biological invasions
- Data deficient
- Impact data
- Alien species richness
- Human development