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Petra Sumasgutner

Bio: Petra Sumasgutner is an academic researcher from University of Vienna. The author has contributed to research in topics: Population & Urbanization. The author has an hindex of 12, co-authored 40 publications receiving 450 citations. Previous affiliations of Petra Sumasgutner include University of Turku & Naturhistorisches Museum.
Topics: Population, Urbanization, Nest, Accipiter, Kestrel

Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: High breeding densities in urban habitats do not necessarily correlate with high habitat quality, and highly urbanized areas in Vienna are associated with unexpected costs for the city dwelling-raptor, in terms both of prey availability and of reproductive success.
Abstract: Urbanization is a global phenomenon that is encroaching on natural habitats and decreasing biodiversity, although it is creating new habitats for some species. The Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) is frequently associated with urbanized landscapes but it is unclear what lies behind the high densities of kestrels in the urban environment. Occupied nest sites in the city of Vienna, Austria were investigated along a gradient of urbanization (percentage of land covered by buildings or used by traffic). Field surveys determined the abundance of potential prey (birds and rodents) and the results were compared to the birds’ diets. A number of breeding parameters were recorded over the course of three years. The majority of kestrels breed in semi-natural cavities in historic buildings. Nearest neighbour distances (NND) were smallest and reproductive success lowest in the city centre. Abundance of potential prey was not found to relate to the degree of urbanization but there was a significant shift in the birds’ diets from a heavy reliance on rodents in the outskirts of the city to feeding more on small birds in the centre. The use of urban habitats was associated with higher nest failure, partly associated with predation and nest desertion, and with significantly lower hatching rates and smaller fledged broods. High breeding densities in urban habitats do not necessarily correlate with high habitat quality. The high density of kestrel nests in the city centre is probably due to the ready availability of breeding cavities. Highly urbanized areas in Vienna are associated with unexpected costs for the city dwelling-raptor, in terms both of prey availability and of reproductive success. The kestrel appears to be exploiting the urban environment but given the poor reproductive performance of urban kestrels it is likely that the species is falling into an ecological trap.

95 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identify three major research areas: (i) nest sites of birds in urban areas, (ii) the composition of their nests, and (iii) how these aspects of their nesting biology influence their persistence (and therefore conservation efforts).
Abstract: The world is urbanising rapidly, and it is predicted that by 2050, 66% of the global human population will be living in urban areas. Urbanisation is characterised by land-use changes such as increased residential housing, business development and transport infrastructure, resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. Over the past two decades, interest has grown in how urbanisation influences fundamental aspects of avian biology such as life-history strategies, survival, breeding performance, behaviour and individual health. Here, we review current knowledge on how urbanisation influences the nesting biology of birds, which determines important fitness-associated processes such as nest predation and community assembly. We identify three major research areas: (i) nest sites of birds in urban areas, (ii) the composition of their nests, and (iii) how these aspects of their nesting biology influence their persistence (and therefore conservation efforts) in urban areas. We show that birds inhabiting urban areas nest in a wide variety of locations, some beneficial through exploitation of otherwise relatively empty avian ecological niches, but others detrimental when birds breed in ecological traps. We describe urban-associated changes in nesting materials such as plastic and cigarette butts, and discuss several functional hypotheses that propose the adaptive value and potential costs of this new nesting strategy. Urban areas provide a relatively new habitat in which to conserve birds, and we show that nestboxes and other artificial nest sites can be used successfully to conserve some, but not all, bird species. Finally, we identify those subject areas that warrant further research attention in the hope of advancing our understanding of the nesting biology of birds in urban areas.

87 citations

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
TL;DR: It is hypothesize that kestrels use the immediate nest-surroundings to hunt, but are not as efficient in hunting avian prey as they are in hunting voles.

38 citations


Cited by
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols used xiii 1.
Abstract: Preface to the Princeton Landmarks in Biology Edition vii Preface xi Symbols Used xiii 1. The Importance of Islands 3 2. Area and Number of Speicies 8 3. Further Explanations of the Area-Diversity Pattern 19 4. The Strategy of Colonization 68 5. Invasibility and the Variable Niche 94 6. Stepping Stones and Biotic Exchange 123 7. Evolutionary Changes Following Colonization 145 8. Prospect 181 Glossary 185 References 193 Index 201

14,171 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: In this paper, a test based on two conserved CHD (chromo-helicase-DNA-binding) genes that are located on the avian sex chromosomes of all birds, with the possible exception of the ratites (ostriches, etc.).

2,554 citations

01 Jan 2016
TL;DR: People have search hundreds of times for their favorite books like this evolution in changing environments some theoretical explorations, but end up in malicious downloads instead of enjoying a good book with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
Abstract: Thank you very much for reading evolution in changing environments some theoretical explorations. As you may know, people have search hundreds times for their favorite books like this evolution in changing environments some theoretical explorations, but end up in malicious downloads. Rather than enjoying a good book with a cup of tea in the afternoon, instead they juggled with some harmful bugs inside their laptop.

621 citations