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Jessleena Suri

Other affiliations: University of Cape Town
Bio: Jessleena Suri is an academic researcher from Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. The author has contributed to research in topics: Urbanization & Woody plant. The author has an hindex of 6, co-authored 6 publications receiving 104 citations. Previous affiliations of Jessleena Suri include University of Cape Town.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
Amanda E. Bates1, Richard B. Primack2, Brandy S. Biggar1, Tomas J. Bird3  +343 moreInstitutions (106)
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies.

64 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
01 Jan 2017-Ibis
TL;DR: It is suggested that for urban-dwelling, bird-eating raptors the abundance of prey in cities may override any potential negative impacts of urbanization on health due to disturbance or other sources of stress.
Abstract: As the global trend towards urbanization continues, the need to understand its impact on wildlife grows. Species may have different levels of tolerance to urban disturbance; some even appear to thrive in urban areas and use human-subsidized resources. However, the physiological costs and trade-offs faced by urban-dwelling species are still poorly understood. We assess the evidence for a negative impact of urbanization on the Black Sparrowhawk Accipiter melanoleucus, a raptor that recently colonized Cape Town, South Africa, and explore the potential mechanisms behind any such effect. We predicted that birds in more urbanized areas may be in poorer health and that this may be partially driven by differences in prey quantity and quality along an urban habitat gradient. The health of Black Sparrowhawk nestlings was evaluated through measures of their physiological stress (heterophil/lymphocyte ratio), body condition and blood parasite infection (infection risk and intensity of Haemoproteus and Leucocytozoon). Diet composition was determined through an analysis of prey remains collected around nests, and prey abundance was determined through point counts in different habitat types. We could find no negative effects of urbanization on nestling health, with no significant relationships with heterophil/lymphocyte ratio, body condition, risk and intensity of infection by Haemoproteus or intensity of infection by Leucocytozoon. Risk of infection by Leucocytozoon did, however, decline with increasing urban cover, perhaps because urbanized areas contain less habitat for blackflies, the vectors of this parasite, which require moving fresh water. We found no change in diet breadth or composition with increasing urban cover. Although some prey species were abundant or less abundant in certain habitat types, all habitat types contained ample prey for Black Sparrowhawks. The widespread abundance of food resources and resulting lack of nutritional stress may explain why Black Sparrowhawks are seemingly free of the negative health impacts expected to arise from urbanization. These findings may explain the success of the species in Cape Town and suggest that for urban-dwelling, bird-eating raptors the abundance of prey in cities may override any potential negative impacts of urbanization on health due to disturbance or other sources of stress.

54 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
02 Jul 2020-Ostrich
TL;DR: The COVID-19 lockdown has had a marked effect on citizen science projects, such as the Southern African Bird Atlas Project, SABAP2 as mentioned in this paper, with their mobility severely constrained.
Abstract: The COVID-19 lockdown has had a marked effect on citizen science projects, such as the Southern African Bird Atlas Project, SABAP2. With their mobility severely constrained, most citizen scientists...

29 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors assess the ecological value of a small urban river catchment in Cape Town, South Africa, in terms of its effect on the taxonomic and functional diversity of birds.

25 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: A systematic literature review showed considerable variation in the number of studies per species, 36% of 67 species having been relatively well-studied (12 or more studies), but 64% with less than 10 studies as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Africa supports breeding populations of over 20% of all raptor species globally and over 20 regular Palearctic migratory raptors. Here, we discuss the importance of Africa in terms of the diversity of both resident and migrant species, the ecosystem services they provide, and the threats they face. We examine the state of knowledge of African raptors, including monitoring to determine trends, and describe ongoing research. African raptors provide important ecosystem services, by bringing in tourism revenues, functioning as bio-indicator species, and controlling the spread of pathogens and pest species. Many species are under pressure from growing human populations and associated habitat loss, persecution, and pollution. Most are declining, with some exceptions, some catastrophically so, such as vultures. Of 66 African species, 26% are currently on the IUCN Red List. For many species, there is a need for their conservation status to be re-evaluated, but rigorous monitoring for most of Africa is generally lacking. A systematic literature review showed considerable variation in the number of studies per species, 36% of 67 species having been relatively “well-studied” (12 or more studies), but 64% with less than 10 studies. There has been a general and consistent increase in the numbers of studies on African raptors, the majority from Southern Africa (n = 466, 62%). We found most studies focused on feeding ecology (n= 247) and distribution and abundance, with the least number of studies on behaviour and movement ecology. We list some ongoing studies and conclude that developing future leadership in research and conservation will be critical for successful raptor conservation in Africa.

19 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List to examine the conservation status, distributions, threats, and conservation recommendations for all 557 raptor species is presented in this article.

180 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a review of research on urban green infrastructure and the associated ecosystem services in sub-Saharan African cities and identify seven overarching barriers and challenges to the sustainable delivery of ecosystem services.

167 citations

BookDOI
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: Only if humans leave more room and time to birds and other organisms can be expected to maintain such a number of diverse bird species, although they will keep modifying, splitting, and becoming extinct—but for natural reasons.
Abstract: Birds are of high public interest and of great value as indicators of the state of the environment. Some 11,000 species are a number relatively well to handle. From a scientific point of view, it is not easily answerable what a species is, since speciation and extinction are ongoing evolutionary processes and differentiation among species works on various traits. Contemporary systematics attempts to take into account as many criteria as possible to delimit species. The currently most influential approach is the use of genomic sequences, be it as a neutral marker or to discover the underpinnings of functional traits. The study of the outer appearance of birds nevertheless remains fundamental, since that is the interface between a bird and its biotic and abiotic environment. For the majority of bird species, acquired traits of vocal communication add to this complex. Birds can also vary the timing of important behavior such as breeding or molting. Most fascinating among circannual behavior are the long-distance movements that can quite fast evolve and have genetic bases. Despite such dispersal ability for many bird species, geographic barriers play a large role for distribution and speciation in birds. Extant, former, and potential future ranges of a species can be modeled based on the abiotic niches individuals of this species have. Within a species’ range, genetic and phenotypic traits vary and promote to process toward species splits. Beside geographic frameworks, ecological circumstances play a major role and contribute to natural selection but also trigger individual responses such as phenotypic plasticity, modification of the environment, and habitat selection. Anthropogenic global impacts such as climate and land-use changes (e.g., urbanization) force extant species to accelerated modifications or population splits or let them vanish forever. Only if humans leave more room and time to birds and other organisms can we expect to maintain such a number of diverse bird species, although they will keep modifying, splitting, and becoming extinct—but for natural reasons. D. T. Tietze (*) Natural History Museum Basel, Basel, Switzerland e-mail: thomas.tietze@bs.ch © The Author(s) 2018 D. T. Tietze (ed.), Bird Species, Fascinating Life Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-91689-7_1 1

97 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: For example, this article found that some species seem to thrive in the city, and these urban-dwelling species often show pronounced phenotypic differences (e.g., in behavior, physiology, and morphology) to their rural conspecifics.
Abstract: Urban habitats and landscapes are markedly different from nonurban “natural” habitats. The major difference is the transformation of the land, from natural green areas to anthropogenic structures and impervious surfaces. To survive in the urban habitat, birds are forced to either accept or avoid the new conditions. In addition, the urban sprawl has led to a highly fragmented landscape, with islets of suitable bird habitat surrounded by highways and buildings that frequently act as barriers, even for mobile creatures such as birds. These altered conditions have changed the avifauna dramatically, with many species vanishing once an area is urbanized, thus resulting in a significant loss of local biodiversity. However, some species seem to thrive in the city, and these urban-dwelling species often show pronounced phenotypic differences (e.g., in behavior, physiology, and morphology) to their rural conspecifics. These phenotypic changes have been linked to specific urban selective drivers such as air pollution, artificial light at night, noise, different kinds of food, different predation pressures, and human disturbances. However, these drivers are often confounded, and it is hard to separate one urban factor as the main driver for the differentiation. Although the urban habitat is a large threat to biodiversity, it is also an exciting environment for studies of population divergence, evolutionary responses, and ultimately speciation in real time.

81 citations