Avian Responses to Different Anthropogenic Disturbances and Habitats



Kazo, Laura

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To determine how habitat disturbance impacts avian communication and species diversity, I analyzed data on mixed species flocks from (1) a self-collected, short term study in urban Northeastern Virginia and (2) a long-term study of forest fragments in the lowland Amazon near Manaus, Brazil (the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project). The second chapter examines how animals avoid predation in the presence of relatively loud anthropogenic noise. Field experiments were conducted to assess if the effectiveness of alarm calls, that warn about predators, is reduced in the presence of anthropogenic noise. Any changes to alarm calls can be extremely detrimental to the overall fitness of bird populations, as these calls aid in the ability of birds to avoid predation and to communicate with heterospecifics. The third chapter examines the effects of forest fragmentation on the body condition of understory birds of the Brazilian Amazon. This project aims to further the knowledge of how increased fragmentation may negatively impact the fitness of essential species, as there is limited information on the impacts on fragmentation on the health of birds. Understanding the effects on bird health provides direction on the best conservation practices for fragmented habitats.



Habitat fragmentation, Avian, Behavioral ecology, Anthropogenic noise, Conservation, Environmental science