Habitat use by grey-crowned babbler, Pomatostomus temporalis, in urban and peri-urban environmentsKathryn Teare Ada Lambert A B and Hugh Ford A
A Centre in Behavioural and Physiological Ecology, Zoology, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia.
B Corresponding author. Email: email@example.com
Pacific Conservation Biology - http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PC16023
Submitted: 24 May 2016 Accepted: 4 September 2016 Published online: 11 November 2016
Habitat loss in the urban environment leads to a high rate of local extinction of native fauna. In contrast, where key habitat structures, such as woody debris, shrubs and trees, are maintained, urban landscapes can retain many native species. To manage urban habitats successfully for urban bird communities, it is, therefore, necessary to understand the habitat requirements of the species using them. We have previously shown that the grey-crowned babbler, Pomatostomus temporalis, exhibits similar mean weight, sex ratio and group size in natural and altered habitat in and around Dubbo, New South Wales. In the present study, we detail the movements and habitat use of the groups that inhabit urban areas. We found that groups behaved similarly in urban and peri-urban areas, but showed small differences in the frequency of behaviours, based on the habitat feature that was available. The results suggested that, despite the decline of the grey-crowned babbler in the southern parts of its range, this species is able to survive in altered habitats, if nesting habitat and ground cover remain available and neighbouring groups persist nearby. Because other woodland bird species have shown similar responses to urban environments, managers of urban parkland should provide foraging substrates for a variety of woodland bird species, including vulnerable species, to ameliorate threatening processes and protect key habitat requirements.
Additional keywords: behavioural ecology, spatial ecology, urbanisation.
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