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One out of three roadkilled animals goes undetected by science

• Animals may escape and die away from the road after the collision, rebound off the road or retain by vehicle. In these cases, it is so extremely difficult to be recorded through typical roadkill...

Identifican nuevos linajes de parásitos sanguíneos exclusivos de aves que habitan en entornos urbanos

Los resultados del estudio han revelado que algunos parásitos del género Plasmodium, responsables de la malaria aviar, son más diversos en la ciudad que en el campo, presentando algunos linajes que...

Invasive blue crabs can travel more than 100 km upstream

Scientists from the Doñana Biological Station – CSIC warns of the capacity of the blue crab to invade river stretches located far from river mouths. This migrating capacity of blue crabs...

Easter rains bring relief to Doñana, but more rainfall is needed this spring

145.3 l/m2 have been collected during March, mostly during Easter, according to ICTS-Doñana data. Rains come late for wintering, but will still be useful for waterfowl breeding. The annual...

The discovery of fossils of phantom midges suggests an extreme climatic event in New Zealand

Phantom midges are present today on all major landmasses, except Antarctica and New Zealand, where it was believed that they had never inhabited until now
The causes of the extinction of these...

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Artificial light at night as a driver of urban colonization

Artificial light at night as a driver of urban colonization

Urbanization and artificial light at night (ALAN) are major drivers of local biodiversity losses causing community alterations, disruption of predator-prey interactions, and ultimately, promotion of cascading effects. However, some species can colonize urban environments. The role of ALAN as a driver of the colonization of urban environments by a nocturnal avian predator, the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia, was explored. In a suburban locality in La Pampa, Argentina, prey availability was studied with pitfall traps under streetlights and control sites. Additionally diet was studied by analyzing pellets and space use by deploying GPS data-loggers to breeding owls. Nesting habitat selection was assessed by comparing environmental variables at nest and random locations and productivity was analysed by correlating environmental variables with the number of fledglings. First, streetlights altered the invertebrate availability, attracting them to illuminated areas. Second, the owl diet was more similar to the invertebrate taxa trapped at pitfall traps under streetlights than that in control traps. Third, owl space use was determined by streetlights. Owls spent more time around light sources, particularly during the nighttime. Fourth, the most important habitat feature influencing the nesting habitat selection was the distance to streetlight. Owls selected areas close to streetlights for nesting. Finally, productivity was not explained by any of the habitat variables. Results demonstrate that ALAN alters the availability of invertebrates and plays a role in the diet, space use, and occupation of urban burrowing owls. Streetlights increase foraging efficiency for owls due to the clumping of prey attracted to lights. This predator-prey relationship might be only supported in suburban environments where low urbanization levels let burrowing owls nest in bare ground areas, and invertebrates are attracted to ALAN from surrounding wilder areas. informacion[at] Rodríguez at al (2020) Artificial light at night as a driver of urban colonization by an avian predator. Landscape Ecol DOI 10.1007/s10980-020-01132-3