Small World Populations in Birds: An Attempt of a Brief General Survey
The class Aves is said to be the best-known or at least one of the best-known animal taxa. However, estimates of wold population size cover only less than 25% of the 1029 threatened bird species listed by Collar and Andrew (1988). This means that over 11% of the approximately 9000 living bird species are to varying degrees at risk from global extinction. The number of counts and estimates of local or regional populations, however, is almost innumerable, but most of them refer to only a very small fraction of the species’ world population. Therefore local population size and development may be influenced by immigration, depending on the strength of isolating mechanisms. Those systems fitting more or less with the concept of metapopulation (e.g. Hanski and Gilpin 1991) with “rescue-effects” (Brown and Kodric-Brown 1977) not rarely work over considerable distance, as birds are highly mobile organisms.
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