Relationships between the characteristics of the urban landscape and the introduced bird community in the city of Valencia (Spain)

Authors: Enrique MURGUI and Anna VALENTIN

Published: Volume 50(2), December 2003. Pages 201-214.

Language: Spanish

Original Title: Relación entre las características del paisaje urbano y la comunidad de aves introducidas en la ciudad de Valencia (España)

Keywords: Aratinga erythrogenys, biological invasions, distribution, habitat selection, Myiopsitta monachus, Psittacidae, Psittacula krameri and urban ecology

Summary:

Aims: We describe the community of introduced birds in the city of Valencia and the relationships between this community and the characteristics of the urban landscape at two spatial scales.

Location: The study was carried out in the urban and rural landscape of the city of Valencia (Spain).

Methods: 197 squares (700 x 700 m) were surveyed in the breeding and wintering seasons of years 1997 and 1998. A monthly survey of 130 urban parks was also carried out in 1999. Relationship between number of introduced bird species and their abundance, landscape and habitat characteristics of tetrad squares and urban parks were analysed.

Results: 23 introduced bird species have been recorded in Valencia, 56% of them belonging to Psittacidae Family. Most of the records belong to three breeding species, Ring-necked Parakeet Psittacula krameri, Red-masked Parakeet Aratinga erythrogenys and Monk Parakeet Myiopsitta monachus. Birds were mostly distributed in the built-up area, the proportion of urban parks per square determining the number of species and the number of individuals. Despite of the fact that the parks were strongly selected comparing with other landscape features, birds used only 24 out of 130 parks. Parks selected by birds were greater and they were less isolated than the rest.

Conclusions: In Valencia, introduced species could be clearly considered as urban birds. Moreover, birds were associated with specific parts of the city. This pattern could be related with the small size of the populations, perhaps because of a low breeding success, with the great quantity of feeding resources near the breeding sites and with the tendency of new escapees to join to the established groups. A detailed research on the autoecology of introduced species in the colonised areas is necessary.

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