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Interactions between people and birds in urban landscapes

Fuller, Richard A. and Irvine, Katherine N. and Davies, Zoe G. and Armsworth, Paul R. and Gaston, Kevin J. (2013) Interactions between people and birds in urban landscapes. In: Urban Bird Ecology and Conservation. Studies in Avian Biology 45. University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. 249-266. ISBN 978-0-520-27309-2. (doi:10.1525/california/9780520273092.001.0001) (KAR id:44802)


A large body of work over the past few decades has revealed the manifestly dramatic impacts of urbanization on species’ distributions and ecologies, many of which result from gross changes in land use and configuration. Less well understood are the rather more direct interactions between people and biodiversity in the urban

arena. While there is a general concern that urbanization impoverishes human contact with nature, daily interaction with biodiversity in urban greenspaces and the widespread provision of food and nesting resources for wildlife form a part of many city-dwellers’ experience. Using data from the UK, we show that supplementary resource provision aimed explicitly at enhancing avian populations can result in high levels of additional foraging and nesting opportunities, particularly in urban areas. However, our data also indicate that levels of such resource provision are strongly positively correlated with human population density at a regional scale, and within a large city. The proportion of households participating in bird feeding depends on social and economic features of the human population, suggesting that strong covariation between human and ecological communities will result. Indeed, we demonstrate that the abundances of some urban-adapted bird species are positively related to the density of feeding stations across the urban landscape, although such relationships were not apparent for other species that commonly use garden feeding stations. It has been suggested that interactions with nature, such as feeding birds, could have beneficial consequences for human health. A better understanding of this potential feedback is required.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1525/california/9780520273092.001.0001
Uncontrolled keywords: bird feeding, housing density, private gardens, socioeconomics, urban ecology
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Zoe Davies
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2014 13:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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