2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Urbanization and Bird Communities along the U.S. Southeast Atlantic Coast
Akanksha Ashwini
Dr. Jason Luscier, Faculty Mentor

Growing urbanization is rapidly changing the landscape, often negatively impacting wildlife through habitat loss or alteration. Native species replaced by an influx of non-native counterparts form homogeneous communities with decreased species richness and diversity. I conducted surveys to evaluate variation in bird community structure and composition in correlation with urbanization levels along a latitudinal gradient following the Intracoastal Waterway from North Carolina to Florida. I surveyed birds from October 25 to November 10, 2014 along 130 transects ranging in length of 0.86 to 5.00 kilometers. I detected over 7,300 birds of 73 different species. The most abundant species were Laughing Gulls, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, and Great Egrets. Estimates of species richness and density of these common species at varying levels of coastal urbanization will provide insight regarding trends in bird community composition; it will help ascertain whether increasing urbanization leads to decreased biodiversity in bird communities.

Keywords: Urbanization, Community composition, Bird survey, Latitudinal gradient


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 3-13
Location: GEO-SUB
Time: 3:30

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