Avian species richness and numbers in the built environment: can new housing developments be good for birds?

  • Christopher F. Mason
Part of the Topics in Biodiversity and Conservation book series (TOBC, volume 3)


Bird species richness (S) and numbers (N) were studied in the breeding season in housing developments of different ages in a small English town and compared with village sites, urban green corridors and adjacent arable farmland. S and N were highest in village and green corridor sites. S in urban plots ranged from 13 to 18 species, similar to farmland, but N was much lower in farmland. Marked differences in the number of individual species between plots were recorded. S and N were independent of age of development and area of gardens within plots but both were correlated with the area of greenspace. Greenspace alone and combined with gardens was correlated with the numbers of several individual species. The results are discussed in relation to proposed new large-scale housing developments in England.

Key words

Biodiversity Bird species richness Gardens Passer domesticus Sturnus vulgaris Urban ecology Urban planning 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher F. Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of EssexColchesterUK

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