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Although habitat transformation is one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, there are many examples of species successfully occupying and even proliferating in highly human-modified habitats such are the cities. Thus, there is an increasing interest in understanding the drivers favoring urban life for some species. Here, we show how the low richness and abundance of predators in urban areas may explain changes in the habitat selection pattern of a grassland specialist species, the burrowing owl Athene cunicularia, toward urban habitats. Predation release improves the demographic parameters of urban individuals, thus favoring an increment in the breeding density of the species in urban areas that accounts for the apparent positive selection of this habitat in detriment of the more natural ones that are avoided. These results suggest that traditional habitat selection analyses do not necessarily describe habitat choice decisions actively taken by individuals but differences in their demographic prospects. Moreover, they also highlight that cites, as predator-free refuges, can become key conservation hotspots for some species dependent on threatened habitats such as the temperate grasslands of South America. © The Author(s) 2017.


Documento: Artículo
Título:Urban conservation hotspots: Predation release allows the grassland-specialist burrowing owl to perform better in the city
Autor:Rebolo-Ifrán, N.; Tella, J.L.; Carrete, M.
Filiación:Departamento de Ecología, Genética y Evolución and IEGEBA-CONICET, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Grupo de Investigadores en Biología de la Conservación (GRINBIC) INIBIOMA-CONICET, Bariloche, Argentina
Department of Conservation Biology, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Sevilla, Spain
Department of Physical, Chemical and Natural Systems, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain
Palabras clave:breeding; habitat selection; human; predator; South America; species; temperate grassland; urban area
Título revista:Scientific Reports
Título revista abreviado:Sci. Rep.


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---------- APA ----------
Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Tella, J.L. & Carrete, M. (2017) . Urban conservation hotspots: Predation release allows the grassland-specialist burrowing owl to perform better in the city. Scientific Reports, 7(1).
---------- CHICAGO ----------
Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Tella, J.L., Carrete, M. "Urban conservation hotspots: Predation release allows the grassland-specialist burrowing owl to perform better in the city" . Scientific Reports 7, no. 1 (2017).
---------- MLA ----------
Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Tella, J.L., Carrete, M. "Urban conservation hotspots: Predation release allows the grassland-specialist burrowing owl to perform better in the city" . Scientific Reports, vol. 7, no. 1, 2017.
---------- VANCOUVER ----------
Rebolo-Ifrán, N., Tella, J.L., Carrete, M. Urban conservation hotspots: Predation release allows the grassland-specialist burrowing owl to perform better in the city. Sci. Rep. 2017;7(1).