Urban Ecosystems

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 427–452 | Cite as

Impacts of urbanisation on the native avifauna of Perth, Western Australia

Article

Abstract

Urban development either eliminates, or severely fragments, native vegetation, and therefore alters the distribution and abundance of species that depend on it for habitat. We assessed the impact of urban development on bird communities at 121 sites in and around Perth, Western Australia. Based on data from community surveys, at least 83 % of 65 landbirds were found to be dependent, in some way, on the presence of native vegetation. For three groups of species defined by specific patterns of habitat use (bushland birds), there were sufficient data to show that species occurrences declined as the landscape changed from variegated to fragmented to relictual, according to the percentage of vegetation cover remaining. For three other groups (urban birds) species occurrences were either unrelated to the amount of vegetation cover, or increased as vegetation cover declined. In order to maximise the chances of retaining avian diversity when planning for broad-scale changes in land-use (i.e. clearing native vegetation for housing or industrial development), land planners should aim for a mosaic of variegated urban landscapes (>60 % vegetation retention) set amongst the fragmented and relictual urban landscapes (<60 % vegetation retention) that are characteristic of most cities and their suburbs. Management actions for conserving remnant biota within fragmented urban landscapes should concentrate on maintaining the integrity and quality of remnant native vegetation, and aim at building awareness among the general public of the conservation value of remnant native vegetation.

Keywords

Birds Urban Fragmentation Landscape Conservation Ecology 

References

  1. Baker RJ, Nelder JA (1978) The GLIM system. Royal Statistical Society, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  2. Belbin L, Collins A (2006) PATN V3.11. Blatant Fabrications, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, ACT, Griffith University, NSWGoogle Scholar
  3. Brooker M (2006) Whiteman Park Bird Surveys 1990 – 2003. Whiteman Park Tech. Rep. Series No. 3. Whiteman Park, Perth.Google Scholar
  4. Brooker L, Brooker M (1994) A model for the effects of fire and fragmentation on the population viability of the Splendid Fairy-wren. Pac Cons Biol 1:344–358Google Scholar
  5. Brooker M, Brooker B (1998) A tale of two cities — garden birds in Canberra and Perth. Canberra Bird Notes 23:20–30Google Scholar
  6. Brooker L, Brooker M (2003) Local distribution, metapopulation viability and conservation of the Blue-breasted Fairy-wren in fragmented habitat in the Western Australian wheatbelt. Emu 103:185–198CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brooker L, Brooker M, Cale P (1999) Animal dispersal in fragmented habitat: measuring habitat connectivity, corridor use, and dispersal mortality. Cons Ecol [online] 3(1), 4. URL:http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iss1/art4/
  8. Catterall CP, Kingston MB, Park K, Sewell S (1998) Deforestation, urbanisation and seasonality: interacting effects on a regional bird assemblage. Biol Cons 84:65–81CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Christidis L, Boles WE (2008) Systematics and taxonomy of Australian birds. CSIRO Publishing, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  10. Cunningham M, Moritz C (1998) Genetic effects of forest fragmentation on a rainforest restricted lizard (Scincidae: Gnypetoscincus queenslandiae). Biol Cons 83:19–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ehrlich PR (2007) Urban countryside biogeography: a decade of comparing the avifauna of a Sydney suburb and reserve. Pac Cons Biol 13:69–73Google Scholar
  12. Fortin D, Arnold GW (1997) The influence of road verges on the use of nearby small shrubland remnants by birds in the central wheatbelt of Western Australia. Wildl Res 24:679–689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Garden J, McAlpine C, Peterson A, Jones D, Possingham H (2006) Review of the ecology of Australian urban fauna: a focus on spatially explicit processes. Austral Ecol 31:126–148CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gole C (2003) Bird surveys in selected metropolitan reserves. August 2003. Birds Australia and Perth Biodiversity Project, FloreatGoogle Scholar
  15. Gole C (2004) Bird surveys in selected metropolitan reserves: Rounds 1 and 2 survey reports. Birds Australia and Perth Biodiversity Project, FloreatGoogle Scholar
  16. Gole C (2006) Bird surveys in selected metropolitan reserves: Round 3 survey report. Birds Australia and Perth Biodiversity Project, FloreatGoogle Scholar
  17. Grey MJ, Clarke MF, Loyn RH (1997) Initial changes in the avian communities of remnant eucalypt woodlands following a reduction in the abundance of Noisy Miners, Manorina melanocephala. Wildl Res 24:631–648CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grey MJ, Clarke MF, Loyn RH (1998) Influence of the Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala on avian diversity and abundance in remnant Grey Box woodland. Pac Cons Biol 4:55–69Google Scholar
  19. Hodgson P, French K, Major R (2006) Comparison of foraging behaviour of small, urban-sensitive insectivores in continuous woodland and woodland remnants in a suburban landscape. Wildl Res 33:591–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hostetler M, Holling CS (2000) Detecting the scales at which birds respond to structure in urban landscapes. Urban Ecosyst 4:25–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kitchener DJ, How RA (1982) Lizard species in small mainland habitat isolates and islands off south-western Western Australia. Aust Wildl Res 9:357–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lacy RC, Lindenmayer DB (1995) A simulation study of the impacts of population subdivision on the mountain brushtail possum Trichosurus caninus Ogilby (Phalangeridae: Marsupialia), in south-eastern Australia. II. Loss of genetic variation within and between subpopulations. Biol Cons 73:131–142Google Scholar
  23. MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The theory of island biogeography. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  24. Major RE, Gowing G, Kendal CE (1996) Nest predation in Australian urban environments and the role of the pied currawong, Strepera graculina. Aust J Ecol 21:399–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Major RE, Christie FJ, Gowing G, Ivison TJ (1999) Age structure and density of red-capped robin populations vary with habitat size and shape. J Appl Ecol 36:901–908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. McIntyre S, Hobbs R (1999) A framework for conceptualizing human impacts on landscapes and its relevance to management and research. Cons Biol 13:1282–1292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Parsons H, French K, Major RE (2003) The influence of remnant bushland on the composition of suburban bird assemblages in Australia. Landsc Urban Plan 66:43–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Payne RW, Murray DA, Harding SA, Baird DB, Soutar DM (2006) GenStat for Windows (9th Edition) Introduction. VSN International, Hemel HempsteadGoogle Scholar
  29. Recher HF, Serventy DL (1991) Long term changes in the relative abundances of birds in Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia. Cons Biol 5:90–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sarre S, Smith GT, Meyers JA (1995) Persistence of two species of gecko (Oedura reticulata and Gehyra variegata) in remnant habitat. Biol Cons 71:25–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Saunders DA (1989) Changes in the avifauna of a region, district and remnant as a result of fragmentation of native vegetation: the wheatbelt of Western Australia. A case study. Biol Cons 50:99–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Stephens SE, Koons DN, Rotella JJ, Willey DW (2003) Effects of habitat fragmentation on avian nesting success: a review of the evidence at multiple scales. Biol Cons 115:101–110CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Storr GM, Johnstone RE (1988) Birds of the Swan Coastal Plain and adjacent seas and islands. Western Australian Museum, PerthGoogle Scholar
  34. Temple SA, Cary JR (1988) Modeling dynamics of habitat-interior bird populations in fragmented landscapes. Cons Biol 2:340–347CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Watson JEM, Whittaker RJ, Freudenberger D (2005) Bird community responses to habitat fragmentation: how consistent are they across landscapes? J Biogeog 32:1353–1370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. White JG, Antos MJ, Fitzsimons JA, Palmer GC (2005) Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments: the influence of streetscape vegetation. Landsc Urban Plan 71:123–135CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Davis
    • 1
    • 3
  • Cheryl Gole
    • 2
  • J. Dale Roberts
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Natural SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.Birdlife Australia WAFloreat ParkAustralia
  3. 3.School of Animal Biology M092The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

Personalised recommendations