A new study in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution suggests that birds have two alternative strategies for coping with the difficulties of humanity’s increasingly chaotic cities – either by having large brains or through more frequent breeding.
Surviving in cities is so difficult that many bird species may be driven to extinction by the increasing urbanization of the world. But curiously, some birds cope, and even thrive, in these new environments. Understanding which species succeed and which do not has implications for conservation programs and also helps humans better understand which species they share their cities with.
“Cities are harsh environments for most species and therefore often support much lower biodiversity than natural environments,” explains postdoctoral researcher Dr. Ferran Sayol of the University of Gothenburg and the Gothenburg Global Biodiversity Centre in Sweden. MORE
Header image: researchers have found that birds can thrive in cities either by having larger brains or by breeding more often. Credit: Shutterstock.