The goal of our study was to determine how golf courses in the desert environment impact the indigenous bird community and, particularly, to see whether golf courses may serve as surrogate riparian habitats for southwestern birds. We compared the avian communities on 5 golf courses in the Albuquerque, New Mexico area (4 traditional and 1 “naturalistic”) to those of 5 paired natural areas that served as reference sites. We surveyed birds using breeding-season point counts over 2 years and measured several habitat characteristics of each site. In agreement with most other studies of urbanization effects, we found that bird abundance was greater on 4 out of 5 golf courses. In contrast to many studies of urban birds, we found that both total species richness and species diversity was higher on the golf courses in 3 out of 5 cases, and indigenous species richness was higher on all 5 of the golf courses. Of the bird species unique to the golf-course communities, 74% were riparian associates. Although they had high numbers of indigenous species, most of the individuals on golf courses were relatively common generalist species. The naturalistic golf course that was dominated by native vegetation had greater indigenous bird species richness, diversity, and abundance when compared to its reference site and all of the other courses. We conclude that golf courses do have the potential to support riparian bird communities but that their conservation potential can be enhanced through the addition of habitat complexity and structure.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.