Large Terrestrial Bird Adapting Behavior in an Urbanized Zone
University of São Paulo, Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture, Forest Sciences Department, Wildlife Ecology, Management and Conservation Lab (LEMaC). Pádua Dias, Av., P.O. Box 09, Piracicaba/SP 13418-900, Brazil
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Received: 15 May 2019 / Revised: 5 June 2019 / Accepted: 6 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized and encroaches on natural environments, wildlife face pressure to adapt to human activities. Understanding the adaptation processes of wildlife living in urban areas is an important step in the implementation of management decisions and regulatory policies, which should aim to minimise human–wildlife conflicts in cities. We investigated a rare case of the Red-legged Seriema, a large-sized terrestrial bird, occurring in an urbanized zone in a Neotropical city. We described their behaviors and assessed their distribution based on hundreds of data provided by citizen scientists. We discovered that Seriemas are occurring in the same space occupied by many free-ranging cats within the study area, which are being supported by humans offering food provisions. Humans are also providing food for Seriemas directly. The species is also benefiting from using human-made structures to improve their behavior related to territory defense and opportunistic foraging. However, some are still unable to avoid car collisions, which is a threat to their persistence in this area. Our study suggests that humans may be contributing to the domestication process of Seriemas, which may lead to them losing fear of humans, but not necessarily acquiring behavior that is advantageous to survival in cities.