CIE Spotlight: Sex-biased space-use response to urbanization in an endemic urban adapter

John W. and Raylene C.
John W. and Raylene C.

TitleSex-biased space-use response to urbanization in an endemic urban adapter.

Authors: Weaving, M. J.; White, J. G.; Hower, K.; Isaac, B.; Cooke, R.

Source: Landscape and Urban Planning, Vol. 130, October 2014, Pages 73–80.

Brief summary of the paper: Urbanization impacts on the composition and distribution of wildlife. The tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides) is an endemic, nocturnal bird species widespread throughout Australia with recent research highlighting high densities within urban environments.

The aim of this study was to investigate home-range size and land-use in response to a gradient of urbanization by determining (a) the key land-use types influencing home-range size and location in the urban landscape; (b) whether urbanization impacts on home-range size; and (c) whether the response to urbanization is gender specific.

Twelve birds, seven male and five female were radio-tracked within a study zone located in Melbourne, Australia. We used minimum convex polygons (MCP) 95% and 50% fixed-kernel isopleths to calculate home-range size and areas of core use within each home-range.

In both the landscape and core areas of their home-range, birds positioned their home-range in areas with more trees, avoiding impervious surfaces and utilizing grassed areas. Male mean kernel home-range was 17.65 ± 4.35 ha and female 6.55 ± 1.40 ha. Male home-ranges contained higher levels of impervious surfaces than females.

Modelling demonstrated that as urbanization intensified the home-range size of males increased whereas female home-ranges remained static in size.

This research identifies land-use selection and highlights the possibility that spatial behaviour in the species is sex-biased in response to a gradient of urbanization.