Birds of prey helped by less pavement

This video says about itself:


Extreme slo-mo film footage of eagles, owls, hawks & falcons hunting and soaring. Features S16mm film & 500fps high-speed photography. Andrew Manske’s “Birds of Prey” Cinematography Demo Video.

From Wildlife Extra:

Businesses can help birds of prey by improving their premises

Businesses can help preserve endangered species, in particular birds of prey, by just making small landscape changes new research from the University of Missouri in the USA shows.

The development constantly taking place on the edges of urban areas is meaning more and more raptor habitat is being lost, however researchers have found that small changes, like creating less lawn areas and increasing the planting or preservation of native grasslands, can help contribute to raptor preservation efforts.

“Greater amounts of cleared and developed space, such as lawn and pavement, around these businesses have negative effects on raptor presence,” said Charles Nilon, professor of fisheries and wildlife at the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

“In areas with more natural land cover of tall grass, woodlands and tree cover, we saw a higher number of raptors. Simply adding certain trees and leaving tall grass can attract this wildlife.

“Raptors avoid business parks with large areas of pavement and lawns because they can’t find food, protection and nesting areas in these open spaces.

“We found that for each five percent increase in lawn cover, the number of raptors decreased by 12 percent. Urban businesses can contribute to raptor conservation efforts by planning and preserving grassland and woodlots, and by leaving lawn areas undeveloped.”

Surprising the researchers found that a number of raptors have managed to adapt to urbanisation and some business parks. During the course of the study, Nilon detected 224 birds and eleven different raptor species, as well as at least two sites showed evidence of nesting.

“Smaller areas of non-lawn habitat throughout the property, or on the edges of a business park, are adequate to increase the presence of these birds,” Nilon said. “Retaining natural habitat on the edges of the development, on slopes, or along streams contributes to biodiversity in the urban landscape with virtually no impact on the usefulness of the property.”

From the University of Missouri:

Nilon said that many national and international corporations have initiated habitat improvement programs on their properties, and that research shows employees also often prefer these more natural landscapes. The Wildlife Habitat Council and the British Trust for Ornithology, for example, report that a diverse wildlife population improves employee morale and encourages better relations with local communities.

The study was published here.

The researchers combined data across North America and Europe using a meta-analysis, a way of aggregating results from multiple studies to increase statistical strength. They found strong evidence that increased mowing intensity of urban lawns — which included parks, roundabouts and road verges — had negative ecological effects, particularly on invertebrate and plant diversity. Pest species, on the other hand, benefitted from intense lawn management: here.

4 thoughts on “Birds of prey helped by less pavement

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