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Rainfall events drive foraging choices by an urban coloniser

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Using a seven-year data set of visitation of an inner city park by the Australian white ibis, we investigated whether rain events were correlated with ibis abundance in the park. The park is associated with high levels of anthropogenic food, but relatively low levels of natural food sources. For all magnitudes of rainfall tested, ibis abundance significantly decreased after a rainfall event, although stronger responses were associated with higher rainfall, with a 46% decline in ibis abundance following rainfall events of ¿60 mm. Average ibis abundance was higher during the dry, non-breeding period than during the breeding period, and variation associated with rainfall was particularly pronounced in the non-breeding period. However, the rainfall response was still evident in both periods. Results suggest that rainfall influences the ibis distribution in urban centres either by decreasing anthropogenic food supplied to the birds, forcing the birds to relocate to forage, or increasing the amount of natural food available elsewhere, or a combination of the two. Increased rainfall intensified the response by ibis, and our results demonstrate the importance of climatic processes on the behaviour of urban birds.

UOW Authors


  •   Chard, Matthew (external author)
  •   Martin, John (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   Major, Richard E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Chard, M., Martin, J., French, K. & Major, R. E. (2017). Rainfall events drive foraging choices by an urban coloniser. Urban Ecosystems, 20 (6), 1285-1290.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85019748044

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4906

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 1285

End Page


  • 1290

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Using a seven-year data set of visitation of an inner city park by the Australian white ibis, we investigated whether rain events were correlated with ibis abundance in the park. The park is associated with high levels of anthropogenic food, but relatively low levels of natural food sources. For all magnitudes of rainfall tested, ibis abundance significantly decreased after a rainfall event, although stronger responses were associated with higher rainfall, with a 46% decline in ibis abundance following rainfall events of ¿60 mm. Average ibis abundance was higher during the dry, non-breeding period than during the breeding period, and variation associated with rainfall was particularly pronounced in the non-breeding period. However, the rainfall response was still evident in both periods. Results suggest that rainfall influences the ibis distribution in urban centres either by decreasing anthropogenic food supplied to the birds, forcing the birds to relocate to forage, or increasing the amount of natural food available elsewhere, or a combination of the two. Increased rainfall intensified the response by ibis, and our results demonstrate the importance of climatic processes on the behaviour of urban birds.

UOW Authors


  •   Chard, Matthew (external author)
  •   Martin, John (external author)
  •   French, Kris O.
  •   Major, Richard E. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Chard, M., Martin, J., French, K. & Major, R. E. (2017). Rainfall events drive foraging choices by an urban coloniser. Urban Ecosystems, 20 (6), 1285-1290.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85019748044

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4906

Number Of Pages


  • 5

Start Page


  • 1285

End Page


  • 1290

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 6

Place Of Publication


  • United States