The Urban Waterfowl Fauna of Moscow in comparison with some other European cities

Avilova K.

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Abstract:

The attempt of comparing the waterfowl fauna of the sixteen European cities described in the monograph of Kelcey & Reinwald (2005), with the addition of original data collected for ten seasons (1998-2007) in Moscow was made. The two main questions will be addressed here: 1) Is there a SW-NE gradient in the European urban waterfowl species richness? 2) What kind of factors (natural and anthropogenic) were responsible of the pattern of the species richness distribution? The comparisons have revealed an increase of native urban waterfowl species richness from the South to the North of Europe, i.e. towards the cities situated in more severe climate zones. The same process occurs in the corresponding regional species richness. The area of the city is of subordinate importance for the native species richness. This effect possibly is determined by local habitat properties. The large area of swamps and other wetlands of the North-Eastern part of Europe are natural refuges for breeding and moulting of the large amount of the native European waterfowl species. Some of these species inhabit the cities. Only the regional human population density affects the amount of urban alien species. Climate warming may produce further increasing of wintering and of potential breeding species richness in the Eastern European cities, e.g. in Moscow.