TEMPORAL CHANGES IN THE TUCSON BIRD COUNT: ABUNDANCE ACROSS LAND COVER CLASSIFICATIONS FROM 2001-2016
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractAs urban areas grow around the world it is important to understand whether species biodiversity can adapt to these environs. Birds are known to be indicator species of ecosystem health. Furthermore, they are relatively easy to observe. In 2001, the Tucson Bird Count (TBC) was initiated to establish a long-term monitoring effort of bird biodiversity in urban Tucson. This project investigates long-term trends in the relative abundances of six common urban Tucson bird species across land classifications using the latest National Land Cover Database products, spanning 15 years. Using zonal statistics methods to aggregate bird count data within land cover classifications, this analysis determined mean relative abundance for six species over time and across land cover types. The results found that population abundance for these species has been relatively stable over time and consistent across land classifications. While overall bird species populations have declined in North America, in urban Tucson, birds are adapting. Further analysis of the TBC is needed to gain insight into species distribution and the complexities of urban habitats.