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The value of small forest fragments and urban tree canopy for Neotropical migrant birds during winter and migration seasons in Latin American countries: A systematic review

David Amaya-Espinel, Juan, Hostetler, Mark E.
Landscape and urban planning 2019 pp. 103592
Neotropics, autumn, avifauna, breeding, breeding season, canopy, cities, forests, habitat fragmentation, habitats, migratory birds, residential areas, spring, systematic review, trees, winter, wintering grounds, Arctic region, Latin America
Avian studies have explored how development and landscape fragmentation leads to a loss of native avifauna, particularly migrants during the breeding season. However, during the winter and migration seasons, cities and surrounding fragmented areas could provide habitat for a variety of migrating birds. Unfortunately, much of the information on the occurrence of migrant species in cities has been concentrated in United States/Canada and little is known about the role of Neotropical cities. We performed a systematic review of the occurrence of forest Neotropical Migrant Bird Species (NMB) in small forest fragments and residential areas with urban tree canopy in Latin American countries during fall/spring migration and winter. We identified a total of 58 forest NMB from 19 studies, including 45 Nearctic Migrants and 12 Austral Migrants, and 54 NMB were found in small urban/rural fragments (0.5 to 19.6 ha) and 30 were found in residential areas. In addition, six NMB considered as interior-forest specialists during the breeding season in United States/Canada were found using small forest fragments or residential areas during fall/spring migration and winter. This suggests that for some interior-forest specialists, breeding in large forested areas does not preclude their use of fragmented areas as stopover and wintering sites. Urban and rural forest fragments and residential areas could serve as habitat for NMB in and around Neotropical cities, but more research is needed to determine whether fragmented habitats are used by a variety of NMB during migration and winter seasons.