A recent colonizer bird as indicator of human-induced landscape change: Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) in a small Mediterranean island

  • Corrado BattistiEmail author
  • Francesco Zullo
Original Article


We studied the habitat preferences at three different landscape scales of Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto), a bird which recently colonized the Western and Southern Europe, with the aim to corroborate their synanthropic ecology and to propose it as indicator of human-induced landscape change. We carried out this study in a small circum-Sardinian island (Italy) of high conservation concern. Comparing occurrence records with random sites, we observed that sites where this species occur showed significant lower averaged values of distance from nearest buildings, from the largest town, and from the nearest paved roads. Sites of occurrence showed significantly higher values of in urban cover density when compared with random sites where the species is absent: in particular, distance from nearest building being the main predictor using a logistic regression. Predictive models highlighted as a high proportion of the island (24–42%) shows a medium-high suitability for this species. Due to the analogous landscape anthropization of many Mediterranean islands, we suggest as this species could rapidly colonize a large part of them in the next decades. Moreover, this synanthropic species could meet many of the typical criteria requested for a biological indicator of human-induced landscape changes in land use policies.


Colonization Urbanization Synanthropy Landscape Suitability models Indicator 



We wish to thank friends and colleagues of the GIS-UAV staff (Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural and Environmental Engineering; University of L’Aquila). Two anonymous reviewers provided useful suggestions and comments which largely improved the first draft of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.“Torre Flavia” LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) Station, Città Metropolitana di Roma Capitale, Servizio Aree ProtetteRomaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di ScienzeUniversità degli Studi di Roma TreRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Civil, Construction-Architectural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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