Urban Environments: Effect of Urban Expansion on Neotropical Birds

23 Feb 2022 Distrito Federal, Brazil, Central and Latin America Birds | Habitats

Eduardo Santos

Urban expansion involves the widespread transformation of natural into impermeable surfaces, being considered a global trend. Despite this, few studies have explored how animals, respond to environmental changes in these environments. Still, no comprehensive study has been carried out in the Cerrado (a neotropical biodiversity hotspot). My intention is to fill this gap by studying which aspects of urbanization impact bird diversity in urban areas of Federal District, Brazil.

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The present study, which is part of my doctorate, aims to fill this gap by carrying out a survey of birds’ diversity inhabiting urban environments inserted into central Brazilian savanna (a region with a good historical record of urbanization). I will assess which main aspects of urbanization affect bird diversity and whether these aspects also impact the health, morphological traits, and feeding habits of resident birds. I also hope to answer questions such as:

(i) are the birds that survive the urbanization process in good health?

(ii) do birds change their eating habits along the urbanization gradient?

(iii) do species respond in the same way to urbanization pressures along the gradient? All these points will be relevant to understand and plan urban environments that can maintain the biome's biodiversity since Cerrado ecosystems' have been constantly suffering from processes of transformation and degradation. Results of this work will be able to base management and conservation plans for vulnerable and threatened species by urban expansion.

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