Insights gained from such an approach may reveal new opportunities for conservation and facilitate a cooperative framework for meeting the frequently conflicting objectives of conservation and land development.
2007 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Effects of Urbanization on Wildlife
Faculty Advisor: David Skelly
The relationship between an emerging infectious disease and final host distribution across an urbanization gradient
Avian demographic and community responses to land development have been closely studied. However most of this work has focused on forest dwelling species. The responses of wetland dependent birds to landscape alteration are less known. Based on prior work in forested environments, I predicted that wetland dependent bird abundance and richness would be lower in agricultural and urban/suburban environments compared with environments dominated by native forest. Contrary to expectations, I found that avian richness and abundance was higher in developed versus undeveloped landscapes. In particular, I observed greater richness and abundance of birds in wetlands within agricultural landscapes. These results suggest that developed landscapes may offer opportunities to meet conservation objectives for wetland birds.