Urban birds of prey take flight in new book from Texas Tech wildlife biologist
By: Norman Martin
From peregrine falcons nesting on skyscrapers to burrowing owls in housing tracts, raptors are an unusual success story of wildness thriving in the heart of many cities. But there are deeper issues surrounding how these fast, sleek birds make their urban homes.
A new book edited by Clint Boal, a professor in Texas Tech University's Department of Natural Resources Management and assistant leader of the Texas Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, and Cheryl Dykstra, an independent researcher and the current editor-in-chief of The Journal of Raptor Research, provides insight into the role of raptors as members of the urban ecosystem and future opportunities for protection, management and environmental education.
"Raptors are top-trophic-level predators that have unique nesting and habitat requirements and require a variety of other animals to hunt for food," Boal said. "The fact that some raptor species occupy cities is evidence that these urban areas may serve as functioning, if novel, ecosystems, and provide habitat and food not only for raptors, but also for the animals upon which they prey."
Published by Island Press, the book is titled Urban Raptors: Ecology and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Cities. Drawn from two decades of scientific research, Boal said the 320-page book includes an examination of urban environments; why some species adapt to urban areas while others do not; and what research tools were used in the study of urban raptors.
Other considerations center on climate change adaptation, human-wildlife conflict, and the risks birds of prey face in urban areas. Finally, Boal examines real-world wildlife management case studies and suggestions for future research and conservation efforts.
CONTACT: Clint Boal, Professor of Wildlife Biology, Department of Natural Resources Management, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-6536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0801NM18 / Editor's Note: For more information on Urban Raptors: Ecology and Conservation of Birds of Prey in Cities, please click here
- Agricultural & Applied Economics
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Editor: Norman Martin
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