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Nikisha Singh

Bio: Nikisha Singh is an academic researcher from University of KwaZulu-Natal. The author has contributed to research in topics: Biodiversity & Urban ecology. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 2 publications receiving 3 citations.

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine trends and presented a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010).
Abstract: Urbanisation is rapidly transforming natural landscapes with consequences for biodiversity. Little is documented on the response of African wildlife to urbanisation. We reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to determine trends. Connected habitat mosaics of natural and anthropogenic green spaces are critical for urban wildlife persistence. We present a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010), which documents this sequence for vertebrate species persistence, based on the perspective of our research. Species in suburbia exhibit an initial phase where behavioural and ecological flexibility, life-history traits and phenotypic plasticity either contribute to their success, or they stay at low numbers. Where successful, the next phase is a rapid increase in populations and distribution; anthropogenic food resources and alternate breeding sites are effectively exploited. The modified third phase either continues to spread, plateau or decline.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors investigated the southern tree agama, Acanthocercus atricollis population trends, habitat use and basking and shading behaviour in a high-density urban human-populated housing metropolitan area in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Abstract: Urbanisation has caused significant alterations to ecosystems, generally resulting in decreased biodiversity. However, certain animal species persist and thrive in urban environments by making use of available opportunities, anthropogenic resources, infrastructure and increased ambient and surface temperatures. These species are known as urban exploiters. We investigated the southern tree agama, Acanthocercus atricollis population trends, habitat use and basking and shading behaviour in a high-density urban human-populated housing metropolitan area in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We marked individual southern tree agamas to determine habitat use and territories (n = 37). The southern tree agama population density was high, and they had established set territories here. We conducted monthly observations (February 2017–July 2017 and March 2018–February 2019) to determine the degree of basking and shading behaviour with season and time of day and location. Southern tree agamas invested more than half of their time (57%) in basking behaviour during the overall observational study period. Basking and shading patterns changed with season and time of day. The number of basking southern tree agamas decreased during winter and basking commenced later. We found that increased anthropogenic infrastructure and supplementary food availability, decreased predators, and basking opportunities could have had an influence on their population increase and that the southern tree agama is a potential urban exploiter.

3 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
30 Apr 2021-Ostrich
TL;DR: In Africa, increasing human populations and anthropogenic land-use change are generally affecting diversity negatively as mentioned in this paper, but especially in Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, a large number of people are migrating to the region.
Abstract: Globally, but especially in Africa, increasing human populations and anthropogenic land-use change are generally affecting diversity negatively. Urban environments in southern Africa typically comp...

14 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to determine trends and presented a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010).
Abstract: Urbanisation is rapidly transforming natural landscapes with consequences for biodiversity. Little is documented on the response of African wildlife to urbanisation. We reviewed case studies of vertebrate species' responses to urbanisation in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa to determine trends. Connected habitat mosaics of natural and anthropogenic green spaces are critical for urban wildlife persistence. We present a novel modification to the final of three phases of the framework described by Evans et al. (2010), which documents this sequence for vertebrate species persistence, based on the perspective of our research. Species in suburbia exhibit an initial phase where behavioural and ecological flexibility, life-history traits and phenotypic plasticity either contribute to their success, or they stay at low numbers. Where successful, the next phase is a rapid increase in populations and distribution; anthropogenic food resources and alternate breeding sites are effectively exploited. The modified third phase either continues to spread, plateau or decline.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors provide the first comprehensive development and management guidelines for eco-estates, reviewed and assessed research into the effects of eco-estate development on environmental functionality and connectivity using case studies from coastal KwaZulu-Natal.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper , a meta-analysis was conducted to quantify the effects of urban environments on three components of trophic ecology in predators: dietary species richness, dietary evenness and stable isotopic ratios (IRs).
Abstract: Predation is a fundamental ecological process that shapes communities and drives evolutionary dynamics. As the world rapidly urbanizes, it is critical to understand how human perturbations alter predation and meat consumption across taxa. We conducted a meta-analysis to quantify the effects of urban environments on three components of trophic ecology in predators: dietary species richness, dietary evenness and stable isotopic ratios (IRs) (δ13C and δ15N IR). We evaluated whether the intensity of anthropogenic pressure, using the human footprint index (HFI), explained variation in effect sizes of dietary attributes using a meta-regression. We calculated Hedges’ g effect sizes from 44 studies including 11 986 samples across 40 predatory species in 39 cities globally. The direction and magnitude of effect sizes varied among predator taxa with reptilian diets exhibiting the most sensitivity to urbanization. Effect sizes revealed that predators in cities had comparable diet richness, evenness and nitrogen ratios, though carbon IRs were more enriched in cities. We found that neither the 1993 nor 2009 HFI editions explained effect size variation. Our study provides, to our knowledge, the first assessment of how urbanization has perturbed predator–prey interactions for multiple taxa at a global scale. We conclude that the functional role of predators is conserved in cities and urbanization does not inherently relax predation, despite diets broadening to include anthropogenic food sources such as sugar, wheat and corn.

3 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article , a camera trap survey of front and back yards for 65 residential properties in the City of Mandurah, Western Australia was carried out to identify key features associated with the activity of a local endemic bandicoot species, the Isoodon fusciventer.

2 citations