Our objective was to improve knowledge about effects of broad-scale road and development variables on bird communities in protected desert landscapes. Bird species richness and the relative abundance or probability of occurrence of many species were significantly associated with total length of roads within each of two spatial extents (1- and 2-km radii), distance to the nearest road, distance to the nearest development, or the two-way interactions of these variables. Regression models reflected non-linear relations, interaction effects, spatial-extent effects, and interannual variation. Road and development effects warrant special attention in protected areas because such places may be important sources of indigenous bird communities in a region.
Additional publication details
Influences of roads and development on bird communities in protected Chihuahuan Desert landscapes