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Journal ArticleDOI

South African raptors in urban landscapes: a review

30 Apr 2021-Ostrich (Taylor & Francis)-Vol. 92, Iss: 1, pp 41–57-41–57
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...
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Global Anthropause Raptor Research Network (GARRN) as mentioned in this paper was created to support and coordinate global collaboration in the field of raptor conservation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

10 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
18 Mar 2021-Ostrich
TL;DR: In this article, the impacts of land-use change on bird communities were investigated in Africa. But the authors focused on the impacts on the African Bird Atlas and did not consider the impact of urbanization on birds.
Abstract: High human population growth and rapid urbanisation, particularly in Africa, have led to an increased interest in the impacts of this land-use change on bird communities. The African Bird Atlas Pro...

8 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
26 Jan 2022-Ibis
TL;DR: In this article , the authors analyzed 127 species of raptors (hawks and related species; Family: Accipitridae) using recent community science (eBird) records from 59 cities on five continents, modelling two indices of occurrence with five ecological and life history traits, and incorporating phylogenetic relatedness.
Abstract: As the world becomes more urbanized, identifying traits that allow some species to thrive in cities will be key to predicting which species will probably remain common and which may require conservation attention. Large, diverse, widely distributed and readily documented raptors represent an ideal taxonomic group to understand how species persist and thrive in urban areas. Global community science datasets can reveal patterns that might be obscured in studies limited to a small number of locations, those relying on presence/absence data or those conducted by a small number of observers. We analysed 127 species of raptors (hawks and related species; Family: Accipitridae) using recent community-science (eBird) records from 59 cities on five continents, modelling two indices of occurrence with five ecological and life history traits, and incorporating phylogenetic relatedness. Based on previous studies of avian traits in urban vs. rural populations, and well as our casual observations of birds in cities across the USA and around the world, we hypothesized that urban raptor communities would be dominated by smaller, ecological-generalist species regardless of the regional species pool. We defined urban occurrence in two ways: urban abundance (the frequency of breeding season reports within 10 km of a city centre) and species proportion (the relative abundance of each species in the local raptor community). We did not detect a strong phylogenetic signal for either urban occurrence index, suggesting that various unrelated raptor species may become common in cities of the world. In the best-performing models, both urban indices were significantly negatively associated with body mass, and significantly positively associated with habitat breadth; species proportion was also significantly associated with nest substrate breadth. Our analysis suggests that there may be an ‘archetypal urban raptor’ and that species lacking these traits (e.g. large, specialist taxa) may be at greater conservation risk as global urbanization increases.

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors identified causes of harm or loss of African Crowned Eagles because of injuries (n = 53 incidents; 31 mortalities), and described interactions with negative perceptions to human livelihoods, particularly concerning predation on pets and livestock.
Abstract: Larger carnivores often trigger human-wildlife conflicts that arise from perceived threats to humans and domestic animals' safety, which generate the need for management and removal strategies. These issues become especially challenging when humans and wildlife coexist close to one another, for example, in urban landscapes. African Crowned Eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) are powerful forest raptors that breed within the metropolitan green-space system of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Negative human-wildlife interactions can occur because eagles occasionally predate on pets, and provisioning domestic stock to nest sites has previously been quantified. Here, wildlife management becomes critical, usually aimed at reducing or eliminating causes of economic or social harm, but have to be balanced against conservation goals regarding threatened species. In this study, we (i) identified causes of harm or loss of Crowned Eagles because of injuries (n = 53 incidents; 31 mortalities); and (ii) describe interactions with negative perceptions to human livelihoods, particularly concerning predation on pets and livestock. Anthropogenic causes of mortality were more likely to be reported than remote natural deaths, which provides important opportunities for mitigation measures. Most avoidable are electrocution on utility poles, persecution via gunshot wounds and poisoning (targeted or secondary), while collisions with anthropogenic structures, such as glass panes, vehicles and fence wires, are more challenging to mitigate. Of 44 verified Crowned Eagle versus pets and livestock conflicts, we documented 19 dog attacks (2012 – 2020), with detrimental impacts on social perception and acceptance of urban eagles. Pet and livestock conflicts were primarily associated with juveniles and immature eagles (83%). Of these, 19% occurred during September alone, which marks the end of the post-fledging dependency period; 70% occurred outside the breeding season. We provide management recommendations regarding various categories of Crowned Eagle human-wildlife interactions. For example, activities such as rehabilitation and falconry can coordinate to achieve a high standard of public support and conservation outcomes for Crowned Eagles. Finally, we discuss different management intervention strategies, including rehabilitation, falconry, re-wildling processes, and lethal control of specific ‘problem’ individuals towards achieving the goal of sustainable, healthy Crowned Eagle populations that coexist with humans in urban landscapes.

3 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review by Czech and colleagues (2000) finds that urbanization endangers more species and is more geographically ubiquitous in the mainland United States than any other human activity, emphasizing the uniquely far-reaching transformations that accompany urban sprawl as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: A the many human activities that cause habitat loss (Czech et al. 2000), urban development produces some of the greatest local extinction rates and frequently eliminates the large majority of native species (Vale and Vale 1976, Luniak 1994, Kowarik 1995, Marzluff 2001). Also, urbanization is often more lasting than other types of habitat loss. Throughout much of New England, for example, ecological succession is restoring forest habitat lost from farming and logging, whereas most urbanized areas in that region not only persist but continue to expand and threaten other local ecosystems (Stein et al. 2000). Another great conservation challenge of urban growth is that it replaces the native species that are lost with widespread “weedy” nonnative species. This replacement constitutes the process of biotic homogenization that threatens to reduce the biological uniqueness of local ecosystems (Blair 2001). Urban-gradient studies show that, for many taxa, for example, plants (Kowarik 1995) and birds and butterflies (Blair and Launer 1997), the number of nonnative species increases toward centers of urbanization, while the number of native species decreases. The final conservation challenge of sprawl is its current and growing geographical extent (Benfield et al. 1999). A review by Czech and colleagues (2000) finds that urbanization endangers more species and is more geographically ubiquitous in the mainland United States than any other human activity. Species threatened by urbanization also tend to be threatened by agriculture, recreation, roads, and many other human impacts, emphasizing the uniquely far-reaching transformations that accompany urban sprawl. About 50% of the US population lives in the suburbs, with another 30% living in cities (USCB 2001). Over 5% of the total surface area of the United States is covered by urban and other built-up areas (USCB 2001). This is more land than is covered by the combined total of national and state parks and areas preserved by the Nature Conservancy. More ominously, the growth rate of urban land use is accelerating faster than land preserved as parks or conservation areas by the Conservancy (figure 1). Much of this growth is from the spread of suburban housing. It is estimated, for example, that residential yards occupy 135,000 acres in the state of Missouri (MDC 2002). This residential landscape represents nearly 1% of the total area of Missouri and is nearly three times the area occupied by Missouri state parks. Here I review the growing literature that documents how urban (and suburban) expansion harms native ecosystems. This knowledge can aid conservation efforts in two major ways. One is through the use of ecological principles—such as preserving remnant natural habitat and restoring modified habitats to promote native species conservation—to reduce the impacts of urbanization on native ecosystems. Rare and endangered species sometimes occur in urbanized habitats (Kendle and Forbes 1997, Godefroid 2001) and thus could be conserved there. Managing the large amount of residential vegetation (1% of the state area, as noted above) in ways that promote native plants and animals could also make a significant contribution to conservation.

3,096 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a basic conservation challenge is that urban biota is often quite diverse and very abundant, and that, because so many urban species are immigrants adapting to city habitats, urbanites of all income levels become increasingly disconnected from local indigenous species and their natural ecosystems.

2,823 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: S spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change are developed and the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass are explored to minimize global biodiversity and vegetation carbon losses.
Abstract: Urban land-cover change threatens biodiversity and affects ecosystem productivity through loss of habitat, biomass, and carbon storage. However, despite projections that world urban populations will increase to nearly 5 billion by 2030, little is known about future locations, magnitudes, and rates of urban expansion. Here we develop spatially explicit probabilistic forecasts of global urban land-cover change and explore the direct impacts on biodiversity hotspots and tropical carbon biomass. If current trends in population density continue and all areas with high probabilities of urban expansion undergo change, then by 2030, urban land cover will increase by 1.2 million km2, nearly tripling the global urban land area circa 2000. This increase would result in considerable loss of habitats in key biodiversity hotspots, with the highest rates of forecasted urban growth to take place in regions that were relatively undisturbed by urban development in 2000: the Eastern Afromontane, the Guinean Forests of West Africa, and the Western Ghats and Sri Lanka hotspots. Within the pan-tropics, loss in vegetation biomass from areas with high probability of urban expansion is estimated to be 1.38 PgC (0.05 PgC yr−1), equal to ∼5% of emissions from tropical deforestation and land-use change. Although urbanization is often considered a local issue, the aggregate global impacts of projected urban expansion will require significant policy changes to affect future growth trajectories to minimize global biodiversity and vegetation carbon losses.

2,681 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors compile the most recent information on urban impacts on avian populations and communities and identify the processes that underlie the patterns of population and community level responses, but several areas of have been identified as being important.

1,397 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that if the natural and social sciences remain within their separate domains, they cannot explain how human-dominated ecosystems emerge from interactions between humans and ecological processes.
Abstract: Our central paradigm for urban ecology is that cities are emergent phenomena of local-scale, dynamic interactions among socioeconomic and biophysical forces. These complex interactions give rise to a distinctive ecology and to distinctive ecological forcing functions. Separately, both the natural and the social sciences have adopted complex system theory to study emergent phenomena, but attempts to integrate the natural and social sciences to understand human-dominated systems remain reductionist—these disciplines generally study humans and ecological processes as separate phenomena. Here we argue that if the natural and social sciences remain within their separate domains, they cannot explain how human-dominated ecosystems emerge from interactions between humans and ecological processes. We propose an integrated framework to test formal hypotheses about how human-dominated ecosystems evolve from those interactions.

1,027 citations

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What are the primary factors contributing to the decline of ungulate populations in South Africa?

The provided paper is about South African raptors in urban landscapes, and it does not mention anything about the decline of ungulate populations in South Africa.