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Old 08-11-2009, 08:17 PM   #1
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Default The Effect of Urbanization on Bird Species (Video)

ResearchChannel - Are Cities for the Birds?


This is a lecture describing the results of studies in the Seattle area on the kinds of bird species that adapt to conditions of urbanization.
(There is a long introduction - you may want to fast-forward to the lecture). The lecturer suggests positive steps that can be taken to increase the numbers of bird species in cities.

For The Birds.

Quote:
From the Series:
Sustaining Our Northwest World: When Humans and Nature Collide

Produced by:
University of Washington
03/11/2004

Description:
Learn about recent ecological research in the Seattle area determining which birds benefit from and which are extinguished by urbanization. In addition to general patterns of birdlife, this program explains why American crows are so abundant in cities and what effects they have on other songbirds.

Related Links:
UW College of Forest Resources Web site

Speaker(s):
John Marzluff, professor of wildlife science, UW College of Forest Resources


Runtime:00:58:30
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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Starlings and sparrows are lumped in as synanthropic species??? The starlings are adapting quite nicely and the house sparrows are moving in. I wouldn't think the good people of Seattle would be interested in increasing their numbers of either one of those two species but like he said... people do like them. Didn't look like the extinction curve had good news.
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Old 08-13-2009, 09:42 AM   #3
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The study showed that despite expectations that urbanization would lead to the extinction of many bird species -- most of them would be damaged that actually some of them increased and some did not do too badly in the "edge" areas so offering those conditions can prevent extinction of bird populations.

The snag dependent birds did not do well -- but offering them what they need could prevent extinction of those species.

I liked the definition of "synanthropic". There are animals/plants that are attracted to the habitual lifestyles of humans--they actually like us: we call them 'invasive species'.

I always miss the "magic of the classroom" this time of year with September coming on.

I would sign up for this guy's classes this semester.
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Old 08-13-2009, 11:41 AM   #4
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One of the things he found is that over time, urbanized areas lost species, even if they gained them at first. However, after a 100-year period a 50%-forested suburban lot would still have as many species as a wilderness area. He infers that the best way to promote bird diversity is not necessarily by limiting development (although surely that's appropriate in cases where rare forest species are threatened), but by promoting preservation and planting of natural habitat in developed areas. The problem is that over time, suburban and urban habitats become degraded as invasive flora and fauna move in, trees die and aren't replaced, lawns are expanded, pesticides are sprayed, snags are removed, etc.
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