Bird tolerance to humans in open tropical ecosystems

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Nature Communications, Volume 14, issue 1
Animal tolerance towards humans can be a key factor facilitating wildlife–human coexistence, yet traits predicting its direction and magnitude across tropical animals are poorly known. Using 10,249 observations for 842 bird species inhabiting open tropical ecosystems in Africa, South America, and Australia, we find that avian tolerance towards humans was lower (i.e., escape distance was longer) in rural rather than urban populations and in populations exposed to lower human disturbance (measured as human footprint index). In addition, larger species and species with larger clutches and enhanced flight ability are less tolerant to human approaches and escape distances increase when birds were approached during the wet season compared to the dry season and from longer starting distances. Identification of key factors affecting animal tolerance towards humans across large spatial and taxonomic scales may help us to better understand and predict the patterns of species distributions in the Anthropocene.
Funding Information: We are especially thankful to Rob G. Bijlsma who generously shared with us his extensive dataset from the Sahel region. We are also thankful to Afan Ajang, Linn M. Bjørvik, Tamuka Chapata, Wouter van Dongen, Patrick Guay, Lenka Harmáčková, Lukasz Jankowiak, Jan van der Kamp, Lennox Kirao, Jakub Kosicki, Philista Malaki, Pretty Maoko, John Mchetto, Grayson Mwakalebe, Organisation for Tropical Studies (South Africa), Diogo Samia, Trine Hay Setsaas, Libor Vaicenbacher and Leo Zwarts for their help with data collection. MW is thankful to Allison Piper, and a Deakin University Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment National and International Research Collaboration Grant in Kenya and BEACH (Beach Ecology and Conservation Hub; Venus Bay) in Australia. In Kenya, field data collection was approved by National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation no. NACOSTI/P14/4653/660 to M.W. and P.M. and no. NACOSTI/P18/52438/25493 to MW, Kenya Wildlife Service no KWS/BRP/5001 to M.W. A Rocha Kenya and the National Museum of Kenya supported and helped conduct fieldwork in Kenya. In South Africa, the University of Cape Town Science Faculty Animal Ethics Committee (2015/V11/SC) to S.J.C., Northern Cape Department of Environment and Nature Conservation (FAUNA 1489/2015) to P.P. In Brazil, we worked on private lands where no permits were required. In Australia, research was approved by the Deakin University (B32/2012, B11/2015, B10/2018), the Charles Darwin University Animal Ethics (A11013), the Macquarie University Animal Research Committee (99021), the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (#FA/000379/00/SA), and the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife (41035 and 55233). This study was financially supported by the DSI-NRF Centre of Excellence at the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town (grant to S.J.C.), The Leventis Foundation through the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, Jos Nigeria (grant to B.D.A.B.), by a fellowship of the Fulbright (Slovakia) programme to P.M. for a visit to the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Mikula, P, Tomášek, O, Romportl, D, Aikins, T K, Avendaño, J E, Braimoh-Azaki, B D A, Chaskda, A, Cresswell, W, Cunningham, S J, Dale, S, Favoretto, G R, Floyd, K S, Glover, H, Grim, T, Henry, D A W, Holmern, T, Hromada, M, Iwajomo, S B, Lilleyman, A, Magige, F J, Martin, R O, Marina, M F, Nana, E D, Ncube, E, Ndaimani, H, Nelson, E, van Niekerk, J H, Pienaar, C, Piratelli, A J, Pistorius, P, Radkovic, A, Reynolds, C, Røskaft, E, Shanungu, G K, Siqueira, P R, Tarakini, T, Tejeiro-Mahecha, N, Thompson, M L, Wamiti, W, Wilson, M, Tye, D R C, Tye, N D, Vehtari, A, Tryjanowski, P, Weston, M A, Blumstein, D T & Albrecht, T 2023, ' Bird tolerance to humans in open tropical ecosystems ', Nature Communications, vol. 14, no. 1, 2146, pp. 1-10 .