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The distribution and abundance of the exotic and native urban avifauna in Miami-Dade County Florida

By Omar Zaid Abdelrahman

Abstract

Southern Florida is experiencing an unprecedented population expansion of several exotic avian species. To understand the impact of introduced species on the native bird community, I censused two transects that spanned older, urban, closed canopy (ca. 60 yr.- old) to more recent (\u3c 20 yr-old) suburban, open canopy habitats in Miami-Dade County, Florida for a 12-mo period. The recently introduced Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) was the most abundant species (92.7 birds/km2), but density varied across transects with lowest density (2.87 birds/km2) in older-growth habitat compared to the maximum density (210 birds/km2) in young habitat. The European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) was second in abundance at 79.1 birds/km2. The Boat-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus major) was the third most abundant species (67.5 birds/km2). The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura), considered to be threatened by the Collared Dove (Simberloff et al. 1997, Schmitz and Brown 1994), was the next most abundant at (66.1 birds/km2). The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) was evenly distributed and consistently averaged 52.5 birds/km 2. The Rock Dove (Columba livia) averaged 39.7 birds/km2 and was absent from older areas with high canopy cover. The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) averaged 34.5 birds/km2 and was the most evenly distributed species in the study area. The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) was also evenly distributed and averaged 16.9 birds/km 2. The introduced Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus), considered an agricultural pest, averaged 9.70 birds/km 2, with peak abundance in recently developed habitats (22.8 birds/km2) and none observed in older urban areas. The Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) was consistently observed at 6.07 birds/km2. Introduced species are a numerically dominant component of the urban avifauna in Miami, composing over 53% of the resident bird population

Topics: Biology
Publisher: FIU Digital Commons
Year: 2000
OAI identifier: oai:digitalcommons.fiu.edu:etd-2178

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