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20 May 2021 The desert exploiter: An overabundant crow species exhibits a neighborhood diffusion pattern into the southern region of Israel
Amit Salomon, Giorgi Kozhoridze, Eyal Shochat, Ofer Ovadia
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Understanding the causes of spread of overabundant species plays a key role in deciphering their invasion mechanisms, while providing managers with targeted management actions to control their spread. The objective of this research was to quantify the spread of Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) in Israel and to elucidate the causes of its spread. Long-term occurrence data of Hooded Crow sightings were used to analyze the species range expansion rate. This dataset was analyzed with a range of climatic, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), and land-use variables. Analysis of opportunistic presence-only data, corrected for possible sampling biases, illustrated traveling waves of eastward expansion, from the Mediterranean coast into Israel's central mountain range, and a star-like pattern of spread southward into the northwestern Negev desert. A diffusion equation model revealed an expansion rate of 1.60 km year–1. Land-use analysis revealed an affinity of sighted individuals toward urban and low vegetation land types. Hooded Crow sightings were positively correlated with annual precipitation, with the remaining variation being negatively correlated with precipitation during the wettest quarter. Species distribution modeling suggested that the species has established new populations and is currently expanding its range. The slow rate of dispersal is consistent with a neighborhood diffusion pattern, corresponding to the species life-history traits. Human-managed environments, including low-cover agricultural fields, provide constant available food and nesting trees, allowing the Hooded Crow to thrive all year-round. Precipitation may aid in enhancing Hooded Crow tolerance toward other unfavorable physical conditions. In light of these new findings, management plans ought to recognize centers of Hooded Crow activity as indicators of highly disturbed native wildlife communities. Also, our findings emphasize the need to establish agri-environmental schemes (AES) in such areas, which would raise community resistance to overabundant species. As AES are currently not in place on a national scale, and since their creation has the power to improve landscape connectivity of native species, this last component is especially necessary.

Copyright © American Ornithological Society 2021. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Amit Salomon, Giorgi Kozhoridze, Eyal Shochat, and Ofer Ovadia "The desert exploiter: An overabundant crow species exhibits a neighborhood diffusion pattern into the southern region of Israel," Ornithological Applications 123(3), 1-13, (20 May 2021). https://doi.org/10.1093/ornithapp/duab021
Received: 9 November 2020; Accepted: 5 April 2021; Published: 20 May 2021
KEYWORDS
Corvus cornix
Corvus cornix
Count data
datos de conteo
desert
desierto
diffusion
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