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Native street trees can boost birds' survival

Native street trees can boost birds' survival

Originally published by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decision       

A world-first study conducted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decision shows that the amount of native trees on suburban streets has a big effect on the numbers and types of birds in the area.

As native birds continue to lose their homes due to the spread of the Australia's cities, scientists are urging city planners and householders to help save them by planting more Australian trees.

A world-first study in the Australian national capital shows that the amount of native trees on suburban streets has a big effect on the numbers and types of birds in the area.

"We found that suburbs with more than 30 per cent native street trees have 11 per cent more bird species of all types than those with exotic street trees," say Dr Karen Ikin and Professor David Lindenmayer from The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The Australian National University.

"More birds were also found in nature reserves next to the suburbs. This shows that how we manage our urban areas has a significant effect on wildlife in surrounding locations."

The researchers surveyed 66 bird species at 40 locations across Canberra and grouped native birds by their tolerance of urbanisation.

"With the exception of native birds that avoid urban areas, a significantly higher number of bird species – both feral and native – were found in suburbs with more than 30 per cent of Eucalyptus trees," says Dr Ikin.

"Research shows that people enjoy seeing and hearing birds around their home, work and recreational spaces, even if they are not interested in what the individual species are. So having charismatic and colourful 'native favourites' that ordinary people can recognise can improve their well-being."

 

Image Credit: Matt Waters Pexels

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