Flocking the City: Avian Demography and Population Dynamics in Urban Latin America

  • Lucas M. Leveau
  • Iriana Zuria


We here provide a general overview of the study of bird abundance, demography, and populations in urban environments with special attention on those from Latin America. We found that studies focused on bird abundance and demography were more common in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. We classified those species taken into account in four or more studies according to their response to urbanization. In general, specialist birds are negatively related with urbanization, whereas two invasive exotics, the Rock Pigeon (Columba livia) and House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), are present in most of the reviewed urbanized areas along Latin America. Although scarce, studies of bird demography revealed, in general, higher bird survival in urban environments, possibly due to lower predator density. However, anthropogenic causes have been identified to affect bird populations in urban areas (e.g., window and vehicle collisions, nest predation, predation by domestic cats and dogs). Future studies will importantly add to our knowledge of urban bird ecology in Latin America by continuing to quantify bird numbers and assess demography patterns, as well as identifying the factors that mold them. Birds, as highly informative and charismatic bioindicators, could play a crucial role in adding evidence-based knowledge for decision-makers to take action in building bird-friendly and livable cities.


Avian populations Breeding success Density Metapopulations Survival 



IZ thanks CONACyT through the thematic network REFAMA (251272) “Red temática Biología, manejo y conservación de la fauna nativa en ambientes antropizados”. LML thanks Lucia Gonzalez Salinas for her love and patience.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Ecología, Genética y EvoluciónUniversidad de Buenos Aires – IEGEBA (CONICET-UBA)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de HidalgoHidalgoMexico

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