Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

WCS Adirondack Park study shows exurban residences impact bird communities up to 200 meters away

26.02.2013
Some species keeping their distance, while others cozy up to human neighbors

As part of the study, scientists sampled the presence of 20 species of birds both near and far from 30 rural residences in the Adirondack Park. Calculating their occurrence at increasing distances from the residences, they determined that "human-adapted" species are 36 percent more likely to occur near the homes than in the surrounding mixed hardwood-conifer forests, and that "human-sensitive" species were 26 percent less likely. Beyond 200 meters, occupancy rates were similar to the surrounding forest.

The report appears in the current online edition of the Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning. Authors of the study are Drs. Michale Glennon and Heidi Kretser of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Rural exurban development is residential development existing outside of cities and towns, and is generally characterized by larger lot sizes (5-40 acres or more) and lower density than suburban development. Exurban residences exist within an otherwise unaltered ecosystem.

Exurban homes change the environment by bringing vehicles, noise, lights, pets, people, and food sources into the forest, as well as by physically altering and fragmenting habitat. These changes can have myriad impacts, including altered species behavior and composition, increased human wildlife conflicts, new predator-prey dynamics, and decreased biotic integrity (a measure of how pristine a wildlife community is).

"Adirondackers take great pride in their surroundings and try not to unduly disturb the natural setting in which they live," said WCS Adirondack Program Science Director Michale Glennon. "A key finding of the study is that the ecological footprint of development can be much larger than its physical footprint. We found that even a small home and lawn can change bird communities some 200 meters away, which means more than 30 acres of the surrounding landscape, depending on what types of activities are occurring on the residential property. It is important that we learn how birds and other wildlife react to particular kinds of human activities, and find ways to minimize the negative impacts for wildlife in exurban areas."

The study found that species sensitive to human impacts include the black-throated blue warbler, black-throated green warbler, hairy woodpecker, hermit thrush, ovenbird, scarlet tanager and the winter wren. The presence of some species, like the scarlet tanager, are a good indicator of undisturbed forest health.

WCS Livelihoods and Conservation Coordinator Heidi Kretser said, "Some wildlife species are sensitive to exurban development and are less likely to be found near those residences than adapted species. More sensitive and less common species could ultimately be displaced from the area as a result of this kind of development."

The study was modeled after one conducted in a shrub-oak ecosystem in Colorado where scientists calculated a 180-meter ecological effect zone based on their results. Glennon and Kretser believe that the similar results in two different ecosystem types may indicate that human behaviors associated with exurban homes play a larger role in shaping avian community characteristics nearby than do habitat alterations created by construction and clearing.

While breeding bird communities were used to measure the impacts of exurban development in the study, the authors note that birds can serve as valuable indicators of overall biodiversity.

WCS Adirondack Program Director Zoe Smith said, "The Adirondack Park is one of the last large, intact, wild ecosystems in the northeastern United States, and it is becoming increasingly important as we face global threats like climate change. As we strive to find a healthy balance between conservation and the needs of humans within the park, we need to fully understand the impacts of different development patterns. This research is another step toward that understanding and can help inform decisions on development and land-use in this rural landscape."

Scott Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Analytical lamps monitor air pollution in cities
26.05.2015 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht Nordic forests under pressure
26.05.2015 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Analytical lamps monitor air pollution in cities

26.05.2015 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

DNA double helix does double duty in assembling arrays of nanoparticles

26.05.2015 | Life Sciences

Turn That Defect Upside Down

26.05.2015 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>