To investigate: (a) whether Melbourne falls within the climatic range of camp sites of P. poliocephalus on the basis of long-term data; and (b) whether Melbourne has moved into the climatic range of the species as a result of urban development and human activities in the city
Type of Study:
Temperatures in central Melbourne have been increasing since the 1950s, leading to warmer conditions and a reduction in the number of frosts. In addition, artificial watering of parks and gardens in the city may contribute the equivalent of 590 mm of extra rainfall per year. Hence, it appears that human activities have increased temperatures and effective precipitation in central Melbourne, creating a more suitable climate for camps of the grey-headed flying-fox.
Species attracted to urban environments because of climatic and other changes may suffer as a whole if mortality rates are higher in urban than rural environments, effectively creating urban population sinks. As urban areas continue to expand, the biotic effects of urban climate change require further consideration, particularly where species and communities with limited geographic and/or climatic distributions occur in close proximity to cities.
Response variable :
Presence of a flying fox camp
Forests and urban areas
Parris, K. M., Hazell, D. L. (2005) Biotic effects of climate change in urban environments: The case of the grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) in Melbourne, Australia. Biol. Conserv.. 124, 267–276.