Urban birds in the Sonoran Desert: estimating population density from point counts

Karina Johnston López, Alberto Macías Duarte, Reyna Amanda Castillo Gámez


We conducted bird surveys in Hermosillo, Sonora using distance sampling to characterize detection functions at point-transects for native and non-native urban birds in a desert environment. From March to August 2013 we sampled 240 plots in the city and its surroundings; each plot was visited three times. Our purpose was to provide information for a rapid assessment of bird density in this region by using point counts. We identified 72 species, including six non-native species. Sixteen species had sufficient detections to accurately estimate the parameters of the detection functions. To illustrate the estimation of density from bird count data using our inferred detection functions, we estimated the density of the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) under two different levels of urbanization: highly urbanized (90-100% of urban impact) and moderately urbanized zones (39-50% of urban impact). Density of S. decaocto in the highly-urbanized and moderately-urbanized zones was 3.97±0.52 and 2.92±0.52 individuals/ha, respectively. By using our detection functions, avian ecologists can efficiently relocate time and effort that is regularly used for the estimation of detection distances, to increase the number of sites surveyed and to collect other relevant ecological information.

Palabras clave

Eurasian Collared-Dove; Streptopelia decaocto; detection function; distance sampling; point count; Hermosillo; Sonora

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.28947/hrmo.2015.16.1.64

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ISSN: 1870-7459
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Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.