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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 45.2 (2022) Pages: 315-325

Increases in avian diversity associated with COVID-19 lockdowns in urban Colombia

MacGregor-Fors, I., Arbeláez-Cortés, E., Estela, F. A., Ocampo, D., Sánchez-Sarria, C. E., García-Arroyo, M., Aguirre-Samboní, G. K., Cortés-Díaz, D., Franco Morales, J. C., Gaitán-García, C. D., Guerrero-Pelaez, S., Gutiérrez Parodys, Y., Holguín-Ruiz, M., Meza-Angulo, E., Vides, H. A., Wilches-Vega, J. D.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0315

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Abstract

Research on urban biodiversity has primarily addressed the effects of urbanization and human activity synergistically as it has been virtually impossible to dissociate their impact on city wildlife. However, the anthropause resulting from COVID–19 lockdowns provided an unprecedented scenario to study the relative role of human activity on avian communities. Here we provide evidence of the relationships between human activity and bird species richness in urban areas of Colombia during its strict and subsequent relaxed lockdowns. Once the strict lockdown was lifted and human activity increased, avian species richness decreased by 32 % in 46 % of our sampling sites. Although the strict lockdown lasted only six weeks, local assemblages (mainly from low–intensity urbanization peri–urban sites) swiftly became more diverse. Our findings highlight the importance of taking human activity into account when planning cities, with important focus on greenspaces, if our aim is to conserve and enhance urban biodiversity. Such plans will require not only the cooperation of local governments but also greater awareness among the local population regarding the importance of creating livable, healthy, biodiverse, and resilient cities.

Keywords

Bird surveys, Coronavirus, Data–intensive science, Neotropic, Urban ecology

Cite

MacGregor-Fors, I., Arbeláez-Cortés, E., Estela, F. A., Ocampo, D., Sánchez-Sarria, C. E., García-Arroyo, M., Aguirre-Samboní, G. K., Cortés-Díaz, D., Franco Morales, J. C., Gaitán-García, C. D., Guerrero-Pelaez, S., Gutiérrez Parodys, Y., Holguín-Ruiz, M., Meza-Angulo, E., Vides, H. A., Wilches-Vega, J. D., 2022. Increases in avian diversity associated with COVID-19 lockdowns in urban Colombia. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 45: 315-325, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2022.45.0315

Reception date:

31/08/2022

Acceptation date:

24/10/2022

Publication date:

01/12/2022

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