Do Green Space Attributes Influence Avian Health? Evidence from the Nutritional and Oxidative Status of a Neotropical Bird

26 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2021

See all articles by Carolina Fernández

Carolina Fernández

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Nélida R. Villaseñor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Carolina Contreras

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Miguel Ávila

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Pablo Sabat

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Yanina Poblete

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

Urbanization impacts public, wildlife and environmental health. Studies comparing rural and urban populations reveal negative effects of urban life on animal health, however, there is a paucity of research on its intra-urban variation. Specifically, whether wildlife health varies with green space attributes in cities remains poorly understood, which limits strategies for healthier urban environments. We investigated whether island hills promote a better nutritional and oxidative status than urban parks for a Neotropical bird dwelling in urban areas, and whether vegetation variables influence bird health. In the capital city of Santiago de Chile, we estimated the nutritional status (scaled mass index, residual index, tarsus length and body size index) and oxidative status (level of lipid peroxidation, total antioxidant capacity and an index of oxidative stress) of rufous-collared sparrows ( Zonotrichia capensis ), a native passerine bird. We found that birds living in island hills exhibited better nutritional and oxidative attributes than birds living in parks. Hills providing greater woody plant richness promoted a better nutritional environment and lower levels of oxidative stress in birds. Body size also increased with the percentage of shrub cover of the hills. We found that in parks birds’ body condition also improved with the proportion of native woody species. Our results evidence that bird health is related to green space type and vegetation variables. These results also highlight the importance of conserving large green spaces (island hills), promoting shrub cover and prioritizing native plants in afforestation projects. These planning and management strategies will contribute to achieving healthier urban environments.

Keywords: Body condition, body size, oxidative stress, island hills, parks, Zonotrichia capensis

Suggested Citation

Fernández, Carolina and Villaseñor, Nélida R. and Contreras, Carolina and Ávila, Miguel and Sabat, Pablo and Poblete, Yanina, Do Green Space Attributes Influence Avian Health? Evidence from the Nutritional and Oxidative Status of a Neotropical Bird. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3989508 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3989508

Carolina Fernández

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Nélida R. Villaseñor

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Carolina Contreras

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Miguel Ávila

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Pablo Sabat

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Yanina Poblete (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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