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Urbanization has profound effects on animals, from the community to the individual level. The human constructed environments found in the city support altered food web structure, behavior, physiology, and trajectories of evolution. This project focuses on birds as a sentinel group of animals, revealing effects of a wide variety of human activities from gardening and feeding wildlife at the local scale to broader scale planning and policy actions that influence the distribution of open space. We aim to monitor bird species diversity, abundance, and community composition over time in representative habitat types across the Phoenix metropolitan area and in the surrounding desert. This dataset helps to address central questions of the CAP LTER project: How do human activities, behaviors, and values change biodiversity and its components—population abundance, species distribution and richness, and community and trophic structure? In turn, how do variations in biodiversity feed back to influence these same human values, perceptions, and actions? This foundational dataset supports many other avian research projects by providing basic information on bird community structure from sites across the city, co-located with other long term monitoring sites, including Survey200 and PASS. Ultimately, we aim to provide insight into management actions that can be taken to enhance biodiversity in the city while also supporting a high quality of life for humans.



January 1999 — Ongoing