UBC Wildlife Biodiversity Baseline : How can UBC campus grow with minimal or positive impacts on bird populations? Harder, Linnea; Miao, Kathy; Oh, Michael; Pippus, Erin
The University of British Columbia is recognized as a global leader in sustainability, currently operating a 20 year strategic plan intended to guide towards campus activities having a positive impact on the environment. These impacts should include campus influence on native birds as vertebrate populations are influenced by campus structure and only a portion of native species can cope with habitat change. In order to understand bird species distribution on campus, we assessed bird species richness across the four most common habitat types and recommended campus planning decisions to facilitate bird populations between habitat corridors. We catalogued bird species richness by surveying in eight locations around campus representing the four most common habitat types determined by Dyck (2016). A total of 29 species were observed in all survey locations. Higher species richness was found in habitats of varied vegetation cover compared to uniformly spatially arranged vegetation cover, locations close the border of campus, areas with fewer instances of human interaction, and areas open to bird movement in and out of other areas of campus. In order to mitigate the impact of development on campus and even improve habitat availability for bird populations, UBC should make efforts to avoid the disruption of bird movements. This can be met by maintaining open habitat corridors, installing bird collision prevention measures on windows throughout campus, increasing water availability for birds on campus, and planting native flora in heterogeneous patterns in potential bird habitats. These recommendations should be taken into consideration when developing projects on campus. Recommendations for the new UBC Library Garden project is discussed as it provides the opportunity to create new habitat corridors and bird refuges in the northern portion of campus as a timely project to revitalize sustainability to enhance biodiversity.
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