Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 10, Issue 12, pp 2023–2043 | Cite as

A habitat island approach to conserving birds in urban landscapes: case studies from southern and northern Europe

  • Esteban Fernández-Juricic
  • Jukka Jokimäki
Article

Abstract

Wildlife conservation in urban habitats is increasingly important due to current urbanization trends. We review the different approaches to studying birds in urban landscapes, and point out the importance of the habitat island ecological theory as a research framework for the management and conservation of urban birds. Based on two comprehensive research projects conducted at urban parks in Spain (Madrid) and Finland (Oulu and Rovaniemi), several different issues related to bird conservation in cities are discussed, main findings of these projects are presented, and future research needs are suggested. Urban parks are important biodiversity hotspots in cities. Fragmentation conditions have the same deleterious effects to urban birds as in other fragmented landscapes. Park size accounts for species accumulation in urban parks; this pattern being highly nested. Urban parks of 10–35 ha would contain most of the species recorded in cities, but other indicators related to the probabilities of persistence of the target species should be obtained. Wooded streets can increase urban landscape connectivity by providing alternative habitat for feeding and nesting during the breeding season. Because increasing the size of parks is difficult in cities, enhancement of habitat diversity and resource availability for birds within parks (e.g. nest boxes, winter feeding tables, etc.) appears to be a straightforward way of increasing urban bird diversity. However, human disturbance (pedestrians) should be controlled since it can negatively influence many urban birds. We present a conceptual model for urban bird conservation, which includes three aspects (management, environmental education and research) and new alternatives to promote the involvement of different sectors of the society.

bird conservation fragmentation habitat island theory urban birds urban ecosystems 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Adams LW and Dove LE (1989) Wildlife reserves and corridors in the urban environment: a guide to ecological landscape planning and resource conservation. National Institute of Urban Wildlife, Columbia, MDGoogle Scholar
  2. Aldrich JW and Coffin RW (1980) Breeding bird populations from forest to suburbia after 37 years. American Birds 34: 3–7Google Scholar
  3. Andrén H (1994) Effects of habitat fragmentation on birds and mammals in landscapes with different proportions of suitable habitat: a review. Oikos 71: 355–366Google Scholar
  4. Atmar W and Patterson BD (1993) The measure of order and disorder in the distribution of species in fragmented habitat. Oecologia 96: 373–382Google Scholar
  5. Atmar W and Patterson BD (1995) Nested temperature calculator: a visual basic program, including 294 presence absence matrices. AICS Research, University Park, NM and The Field Museum, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  6. Batten LA (1972) Breeding bird species diversity in relation to increasing urbanization. Bird Study 19: 157–166Google Scholar
  7. Beissinger SR and Osborne DR (1982) Effects of urbanization on avian community organization. Condor 8: 75–83Google Scholar
  8. Blair RB (1996) Land use and avian species diversity along an urban gradient. Ecological Applications 6: 506–519Google Scholar
  9. Bolger DT, Scott TA and Rotenberry JT (1997) Breeding bird abundance in an urbanizing landscape in coastal southern California. Conservation Biology 11: 406–421Google Scholar
  10. Clergeau P and Burel F (1997) The role of spatio-temporal patch connectivity at the landscape level: an example in a bird distribution. Landscape and Urban Planning 38: 37–43Google Scholar
  11. Clergeau P, Savard J-PL, Mennechez G and Falardeau G (1998) Bird abundance and diversity along an urban-rural gradient: a comparative study between two cities on different continents. Condor 100: 413–425Google Scholar
  12. Cousins SH (1982) Species size distributions of birds and snails in an urban area. In: Bornkamm R, Lee JA and Seaward MRD (eds) Urban Ecology, pp 99–109. Blackwell Scientific Publications, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Cowie RJ and Hinsley SA (1987) Breeding success of Blue Tits and Great Tits in suburban gardens. Ardea 75: 81–90Google Scholar
  14. Davis AM and Glick TF (1978) Urban ecosystems and island biogeography. Environmental Conservation 5: 299–304Google Scholar
  15. Decker DJ (1990) Implications of the wildlife acceptance capacity concept for urban wildlife management. In: Webb E and Foster SQ (eds) Perspectives in Urban Ecology, pp 45–53. Denver Museum of Natural History and Thorne Ecological Institute, Denver, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  16. Doak DF and Scott Mills L (1994) A useful role for theory in conservation. Ecology 75: 615–626Google Scholar
  17. Easterbrook TG (1999) Population trends of wintering birds around Banbury, Oxfordshire 1975–96. Bird Study 46: 16–24Google Scholar
  18. Emlen JT (1974) An urban bird community in Tucson, Arizona. Derivation, structure, regulation. Condor 76: 184–197Google Scholar
  19. Erz W (1966) Ecological principles in the urbanization of birds. Ostrich Supplement 6: 357–364Google Scholar
  20. Fernández-Juricic E (2000a) Avifaunal use of linear strips in an urban landscape. Conservation Biology 14: 513–521Google Scholar
  21. Fernández-Juricic E (2000b) Local and regional effects of human disturbance on forest birds in a fragmented landscape. Condor 102: 247–255Google Scholar
  22. Fernández-Juricic E (2000c) Bird community composition patterns in urban parks of Madrid: the role of age, size, and isolation. Ecological Research 15: 373–383Google Scholar
  23. Fernández-Juricic E (2000d) Conservation education: the need for regional approaches supporting local initiatives. Wildlife Society Bulletin 28: 164–167Google Scholar
  24. Fernández-Juricic E (2001a) Avian spatial segregation at edges and interiors of urban parks in Madrid, Spain. Biodiversity and Conservation 10: 1303–1316Google Scholar
  25. Fernández-Juricic E (in press) Spatial and temporal distribution of bird forest species in wooded parks in the city of Madrid (Spain). Conservation implications. Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Urban Wildlife ConservationGoogle Scholar
  26. Fernández-Juricic E (2001b) Density dependent habitat selection of corridors in a fragmented landscape. IbisGoogle Scholar
  27. Fernández-Juricic E and Tellería JL (1999) Recruitment patterns of blackbirds (Turdus merula) in urban fragmented populations. Ardeola 46: 61–70Google Scholar
  28. Fernández-Juricic E and Tellería JL (2000) Effects of human disturbance on Blackbird Turdus merula spatial and temporal feeding patterns in urban parks of Madrid, Spain. Bird Study 47: 13–21Google Scholar
  29. Fernández-Juricic E, Jimenez MD and Lucas E (2001) Bird tolerance to human disturbance in urban parks of Madrid (Spain). Management implications. In: Marzluff JM, Bowman R and Donnelly R (eds) Avian Ecology and Conservation in an Urbanizing World. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  30. Gates JE and Gysel LW (1978) Avian nest dispersion and fledging success in field-forest ecotones. Ecology 59: 871–883Google Scholar
  31. Gavareski CA (1976) Relation of park size and vegetation to urban bird populations in Seattle,Washington. Condor 78: 375–382Google Scholar
  32. Gill JA, Sutherland WJ and Watkinson AR (1996) A method to quantify the effects of human disturbance on animal populations. Journal of Applied Ecology 33: 786–792Google Scholar
  33. Gilles BK (1999) Tree cutting and prunning to benefit urban wildlife. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Urban Wildlife Conservation, Tucson, ArizonaGoogle Scholar
  34. Goode DA (1990) Wildlife in cities. In: Webb E and Foster SQ (eds) Perspectives in Urban Ecology, pp 45–53. Denver Museum of Natural History and Thorne Ecological Institute, Denver, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  35. Grimm NB, Grove JM, Pickett STA and Redman CL (2000) Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems. Bioscience 50: 571–584Google Scholar
  36. Groom DW (1993) Magpie Pica pica predation on Blackbird Turdus merula nests in urban areas. Bird Study 40: 55–62Google Scholar
  37. Gutzwiller KJ, Marcum HA, Harvey HB, Roth J and Anderson SH (1998) Bird tolerance to human intrusion in Wyoming Montane Forests. Condor 100: 519–527Google Scholar
  38. Haddad NM and Baum KA (1999) An experimental test of corridor effects on butterfly densities. Ecological Applications 9: 623–633Google Scholar
  39. Hadidian J, Sauer J, Swarth C, Hanly P, Droege S, Williams C, Huff J and Didden G (1997) A citywide breeding bird survey for Washington, DC. Urban Ecosystems 1: 87–102Google Scholar
  40. Haila Y and Levins R (1992) Humanity and Nature. Pluto Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Hinsley SA, Bellamy PE and Newton I (1995a) Bird species turnover and stochastic extinction in woodland fragments. Ecography 18: 41–50Google Scholar
  42. Hinsley SA, Bellamy PE, Newton I and Sparks TH (1995b) Factors influencing the presence of individual bird species in woodland fragments. Journal of Avian Biology 26: 94–104Google Scholar
  43. Hohtola E (1978) Differential changes in bird community structure with urbanization: a study in central Finland. Ornis Scandinavica 9: 94–100Google Scholar
  44. Hõrak P (1993) Low fledging success of urban Great Tits. Ornis Fennica 70: 168–172Google Scholar
  45. Horn DJ (1985) Breeding birds of a central Ohio woodlot in response to succession and urbanization. Ohio Journal of Science 85: 34–40Google Scholar
  46. Huhtalo H and Järvinen O (1977) Quantitative composition of the urban bird community in Tornio, northern Finland. Bird Study 24: 179–185Google Scholar
  47. Jokimäki J (1992) Rovaniemen kaupunkilinnusto (Summary: Effects of urbanization on the structure of breeding bird assemblages in Rovaniemi). Lapin maakuntamuseo, PS-värisuora, Kemi, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  48. Jokimäki J (1996) Patterns of bird communities in urban environments. PhD thesis, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, FinlandGoogle Scholar
  49. Jokimäki J (1999) Occurrence of breeding bird species in urban parks: effects of park structure and broadscale variables. Urban Ecosystems 3: 21–34Google Scholar
  50. Jokimäki J and Suhonen J (1993) Effects of urbanization on the breeding bird species richness in Finland: a biogeographical comparison. Ornis Fennica 70: 71–77Google Scholar
  51. Jokimäki J and Suhonen J (1998) Distribution and habitat selection of wintering birds in urban environments. Landscape and Urban Planning 39: 253–263Google Scholar
  52. Jokimäki J and Huhta E (2000) Artificial nest predation and abundance of birds along an urban gradient. Condor 102: 838–847Google Scholar
  53. Jokimäki J, Suhonen J, Inki K and Jokinen S (1996) Biogeographical comparison of winter bird assemblages in urban environments in Finland. Journal of Biogeography 23: 379–386Google Scholar
  54. Lancaster RK and Rees WE (1979) Bird communities and the structure of urban habitats. Canadian Journal of Zoology 57: 2358–2368Google Scholar
  55. Leedy DL and Adams LW (1984) A guide to urban wildlife management. National Institute for Urban Wildlife, Columbia, MDGoogle Scholar
  56. Luniak M (1983) The avifauna of urban green areas in Poland and possibilities of managing it. Acta Ornithologica (Warszawa) 19: 3–61Google Scholar
  57. Lussenhop J (1977) Urban cemeteries as bird refuges. Condor 79: 456–461Google Scholar
  58. Martin J-L and Lepart J (1989) Impoverishment in the bird community of a Finnish archipelago: the role of island size, isolation and vegetation structure. Journal of Biogeography 16: 159–172Google Scholar
  59. Matthews A, Dickman CR and Major RE (1999) The influence of fragment size and edge on nest predation in urban bushland. Ecography 22: 349–356Google Scholar
  60. McCollin D (1998) Forest edges and habitat selection in birds: functional approach. Ecography 21: 247–260Google Scholar
  61. McDonnell MJ and Pickett STA (1990) Ecosystem structure and function along urban-rural gradients: an exploited opportunity for ecology. Ecology 71: 1232–1237Google Scholar
  62. McDonnell MJ, Pickett ST, Groffman P, Bohlen P, Pouyat RV, Zipperer WC, Parmelee RW, Carreiro MM and Medley K (1997) Ecosystem processes along an urban-to-rural gradient. Urban Ecosystems 1: 21–36Google Scholar
  63. Morgan Grove J and Burch Jr WR (1997) A social ecology approach and applications of urban ecosystem and landscape analyses: a case study of Baltimore, Maryland. Urban Ecosystems 1: 259–275Google Scholar
  64. Morrison ML, Marcot BG and Mannan RW (1992) Wildlife-habitat relationships: concepts and applications. The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WisconsinGoogle Scholar
  65. Natuhara Y and Imai C (1996) Spatial structure of avifauna along urban-rural gradients. Ecological Restoration 11: 1–9Google Scholar
  66. Natuhara Y and Imai C (1999) Prediction of species richness of breeding birds by landscape-level factors of urban woods in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 239–253Google Scholar
  67. Newton I (1998) Population Limitation in Birds. Academic Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  68. Niemelä J (1999a) Ecology and urban planning. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 119–131Google Scholar
  69. Niemelä J (1999b) Is there a need for a theory of urban ecology? Urban Ecosystems 3: 57–65Google Scholar
  70. Opdam P, Rijsdijk G and Hustings F (1985) Bird communities in small woods in an agricultural landscape: effects of area and isolation. Biological Conservation 34: 333–352Google Scholar
  71. Patterson BD and Atmar W (1986) Nested subsets and the structure of insular mammalian faunas and archipielagos. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 28: 65–82Google Scholar
  72. Patterson BD and Atmar W (2000) Analyzing species composition in fragments. In: Rheinwald G (ed) Isolated Vertebrate Communities in the Tropics, Proc 4th Int. Symp, pp 1–16. Bonn. zool. Monogr. 46, BonnGoogle Scholar
  73. Pickett STA, Burch Jr WR, Dalton SE, Foresman TW, Grove JM and Rowntree R (1997) A conceptual framework for the study of human ecosystems in urban areas. Urban Ecosystems 1: 185–199Google Scholar
  74. Pulliainen E (1963) On the history, ecology and ethology of the Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos, L.) overwintring in Finland. Ornis Fennica 40: 45–66Google Scholar
  75. Rebele F (1994) Urban ecology and special features of urban ecosystems. Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 4: 173–187Google Scholar
  76. Rodgers JA and Smith HT (1997) Buffer zone distances to protect foraging and loafing waterbirds from human disturbance in Florida. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25: 139–145Google Scholar
  77. Rohde CLE and Kendle AD (1994) Human well-being, natural landscapes and wildlife in urban areas. A review. English Nature Science No. 22Google Scholar
  78. Rolando A, Maffei G, Pulcher C and Guiuso A (1997) Avian community structure along an urbanization gradient. Italian Journal of Zoology 64: 341–349Google Scholar
  79. Rosenberg DK, Noon BR and Meslow EC (1997) Biological corridors: form, function, and efficacy. Bioscience 47: 677–687Google Scholar
  80. Sasvári L (1984) Bird abundance and species diversity in the parks and squares of Budapest. Folia Zoologica 33: 249–262Google Scholar
  81. Sasvári L and Moskät C (1988) Species richness, bird density and niche shifts in central-European manmade habitats. Ekológia 7: 121–146Google Scholar
  82. Saunders DA, Hobbs RJ and Margules CR (1991) Biological consequences of ecosystem fragmentation: a review. Conservation Biology 5: 18–32Google Scholar
  83. Sauvajot RM, Buechner M, Kamradt DA and Schonewald CM (1998) Patterns of human disturbance and response by small mammals and birds in chaparral near urban development. Urban Ecosystems 2: 279–297Google Scholar
  84. Savard J-PL, Clergeau P and Mennechez G (2000) Biodiversity concepts and urban ecosystems. Landscape and Urban Planning 659: 1–12Google Scholar
  85. Shirley PR (1999) People and nature conservation. The work of the Wildlife Trusts and the Urban Wildlife Partnership in towns and cities in the United Kingdom. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Urban Wildlife Conservation, Tucson, ArizonaGoogle Scholar
  86. Sodhi NS, Briffett C, Kong L and Yuen B (1999) Bird use linear areas of a tropical city: implications for park connector design and management. Landscape and Urban Planning 45: 123–130Google Scholar
  87. Soulé ME, Bolger DT, Alberts AC, Wright J, Sorice M and Hill S (1988) Reconstructed dynamics of rapid extinctions of chaparral-requiring birds in urban habitat islands. Conservation Biology 2: 75–92Google Scholar
  88. Suhonen J and Jokimäki J (1988) A biogeographical comparison of the breeding bird species assemblages in twenty Finnish urban parks. Ornis Fennica 65: 76–83Google Scholar
  89. Sukopp H and Numata M (1995) Foreword. In: Sukopp H, Numata M and Huber A (eds) Urban Ecology as the Basis for Urban Planning, pp VII. SPB Academic Publishing, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  90. Thompson PS, Greenwood JD and Greenaway K (1993) Birds in European gardens in the winter and spring of 1988–89. Bird Study 40: 120–134Google Scholar
  91. Tilghman NG (1987) Characteristics of urban woodlands affecting breeding bird diversity and abundance. Landscape and Urban Planning 14: 481–495Google Scholar
  92. Tomialojc L and Profus P (1977) Comparative analysis of breeding bird communities in two parks of Wroclaw and in an adjacent Querco-Carpinetum forest. Acta Ornithologica (Warszawa) 16: 117–177Google Scholar
  93. Tomialojc L (1970) Quantitative studies on the synanthropic avifauna of Legnica and its environs. Acta Ornithologica (Warszawa) 12: 293–392Google Scholar
  94. van Balen JH, van Noordwijk AJ and Visser J (1987) Lifetime reproductive success and recruitment in two Great Tit populations. Ardea 75: 1–11Google Scholar
  95. van Dorp D and Opdam P (1987) Effects of patch size, isolation and regional abundance on forest bird communities. Landscape Ecology 1: 59–73Google Scholar
  96. Vandruff LW, Leedy DL and Stearns FW (1995) Urban wildlife and human well-being. In: Sukopp H, Numata M and Huber A (eds) Urban Ecology as the Basis for Urban Planning, pp 203–211. SPB Academic Publishing, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  97. Villard M-A, Trzcinski KM and Merriam G (1999) Fragmentation effects on forest birds: relative influence of woodland cover and configuration on landscape occupancy. Conservation Biology 13: 774–783Google Scholar
  98. Vizyová A (1986) Urban woodlots as islands for land vertebrates: a preliminary attempt on estimating the barrier effects of urban structural units. Ekológia (CSSR) 5: 407–419Google Scholar
  99. Webb EA and Foster SQ (1991) Perspectives in urban ecology. Denver Museum of Natural History, Denver, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  100. Whittaker RJ (1998) Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  101. Whittaker RJ (2000) Scale, succession and complexity in island biogeography: are we asking the right questions? Global Ecology and Biogeography 9: 75–85Google Scholar
  102. World Resources Institute (1996) World Resources. A Guide to the Global Environment: The Urban Environment. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Esteban Fernández-Juricic
    • 1
  • Jukka Jokimäki
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Arctic CentreUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland

Personalised recommendations