Cities impact on birds

magpieAustralia as a continent is blessed with indigenous wildlife. In cities, it can be able to maintain the indigenous species. This is only possible if the reduce the rate of urbanization. This is after a research carried out by environmentalists; Jessica Sushinsky, Dr. Richard Fuller and Professor Hugh Possingham from the University of Queensland. The Australian environmentalist, especially Jessica Suchinsky, argue that urbanization is the root cause of the decrease of birds in cities. She also says that avoiding rural development contributes more to their reduction. She goes ahead to say that if urban centers are localized then the homes for the birds will remain unaffected leading to low exterminations.

In Brisbane, it’s where the environmentalists reviewed the indigenous and the feral birds. These areas included the major highways, airports, government parks, residential areas, industrial areas and the field based shopping centers. They used statistical procedures to measure the extent of the effect of the growth of cities to the birds. Several homesteads were built in a land that had only one building (squeezed growth). They were squeezed in this piece of land and accommodated several others. The second case was where homes were spread past the city’s edges (urban sprawl).

The group of environmentalist discovered that there was a great difference under the two settings. Due to urban sprawl, there was a shocking loss of species over a period of 20 years. This was not the case under the squeezed growth. Ms Sushinsky discovered that there were very few birds left in the cities and they were only to be found in the indigenous grass and parklands within the cities. She continued to say that there was a significant rise in the number of feral birds especially spotted turtle dove and the mynah bird. This was accounted by the fact that they tend to live well in the cities unlike the indigenous birds.

They realized that the city which experienced squeezed growth was able to hold back more birds. Under the squeezed growth, species like grey shrike thrush, the marked pardalote, Lewin’s honey-eater and the red wren were observed in numbers. This was attributed by the allowance of parklands and woodlands. According to Prof. Possingham, the Queensland government has assumed the squeezed growth schemes in the urban centers to curb the extinction of the indigenous species. The argument of the environmentalist is that this was a more favorable environment for the Australia’s indigenous bird’s existence.

Dr. Richard Fuller continued to say that the Australian cities need to have quality green spaces, heavier thickets and short shrubs with untidy grass instead of the so called ‘classic parks’ with spread trees and short grass. With this in mind he said that this was advantageous in that most Australian cities would be more bio diversified with the squeezed growth.

The study showed that the green spaces should not be cleared to allow urban sprawl instead they should be held and maintained. According to them this was the first time that science explained the impact of different urban growth schemes on birds. Dr. Richard Fuller concluded by saying that these statistics are significant in that they help decision makers to realize the impact of certain ecological decisions.

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