Ecological Networks for Bird Species in the Wintering Season Based on Urban Woodlands

Tomohiro Ichinose

Institute of Natural and Environmental Science, University of Hyogo

Background

We can watch many birds in urban woodlands. Recently urban woodlands have been considered an important habitat for bird species, and many stud­ies have been conducted in order to identify which environmental factors of urban woodlands and open space are necessary for bird habitats, for ex­ample, size, shape, vegetation type and so on. Many studies have indicated that woodland size is the most important factor (e. g., Martin 1983), how­ever it is always very difficult to establish a new large open space in urban areas, especially in Japan, because of the high price of land. In recent dec­ades, the ecological network concept has been taken into account in urban and rural planning (e. g., Haase et al. 1992); it aims to provide the physical conditions that are necessary for populations of species to survive within a landscape that, to a greater or lesser extent, is also exploited by economic activities (Nowicki et al. 1996). If the ecological network between wood­lands is improved and conserved in urban areas, more bird species can live and breed there.

We have no fixed method in urban areas for planning for ecological networks. Kirby (1994) indicated that few field studies could show the ef­fectiveness of ecological networks for animals and plants. Recently in Ja­pan, some ecological network plans have been created in urban areas; however, the environmental factors that are specifically important for cer­tain taxa or species has seldom been considered during planning.

The objective of this study is to identify relationships between the pres­ence of bird species and environmental factors in urban areas for ecologi­cal network planning. Vegetation cover of urban parks is addressed in depth.

Kowarik I, Korner S (eds) Wild Urban Woodlands.

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005, pp 181-192