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Effects of building features on density and flock distribution of feral pigeons Columba livia var. domestica in an urban environment

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We censused feral pigeons (Columba livia) living in Milan, Italy (a 181-km2 area), between July 1999 and February 2000 by means of linear transects to examine population densities in different urban habitats and the relationships between population density and structural features of buildings. The pigeon population of Milan was 103 650 birds, with an average density of 570/km2. Population density increased significantly from farmland (434 birds/km2) to the suburbs (604 birds/km2) and from the suburbs to the centre of the city (2083 birds/km2). There was a positive relationship between both bird number and flock number and the abundance of buildings constructed before 1936. There were no significant associations between either bird number or flock number and the abundance of buildings when we did not consider date of construction. This indicated active selection of old buildings by feral pigeons.

Nous avons recensé les pigeons sauvages (Columba livia) de Milan en Italie (une zone de 182 km2) entre juillet 1999 et février 2000 en établissant des transects linéaires pour examiner la densité des populations dans les divers milieux urbains et déterminer les relations entre la densité et les caractéristiques structurales des édifices. Au moment du recensement, la population de pigeons de Milan comptait 103 650 oiseaux avec une densité moyenne de 570/km2. La densité des pigeons augmentait des zones agricoles (434 oiseaux/km2) aux banlieues (604 oiseaux/km2) et des banlieues au centre-ville (2083 oiseaux/km2). Nous avons trouvé une corrélation positive entre, d'une part, le nombre d'oiseaux et le nombre de volées et, d'autre part, l'abondance des édifices construits avant 1936. Il n'y avait aucune association significative entre le nombre d'oiseaux et le nombre de volées et l'abondance des édifices lorsqu'on ne tenait pas compte de la date de leur construction, ce qui indique que les pigeons sauvages font un choix délibéré des vieux édifices.[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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