Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 31 (2) Mar. 2023 / JST-3574-2022


Distribution of Six Urban Bird Species in Urban Agglomeration of Central Region of Peninsular Malaysia Using Ebird Database

Aminah Madi, Fatihah Najihah Arazmi, Shukor Md. Nor and Mohammad Saiful Mansor

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 31, Issue 2, March 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjst.31.2.20

Keywords: Citizen science data, distribution, green space, Malaysia, metropolitan city, urban birds

Published on: 20 March 2023

Developing countries are undergoing rapid urbanisation to fulfil the high demands of incremental population growth, construction, and development. Excessive development has negative impacts on biodiversity by altering or destroying habitats. However, each bird species may respond differently to habitat alteration. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the distribution of urban bird species in metropolitan cities and nearby areas in Peninsular Malaysia. The main objective of this study was to determine the distribution patterns of six aesthetically valuable urban bird species (Black-naped Oriole [Oriolus chinensis], Yellow-vented Bulbul [Pycnonotus goiavier], White-throated Kingfisher [Halcyon smyrnensis], Pink-necked Green-Pigeon [Treron vernans], Coppersmith Barbet [Psilopogon haemacephalus] and Common Iora [Aegithina tiphia]) in Greater Kuala Lumpur (the Klang Valley region) using observations from a citizen science (eBird) database. We mapped species abundance throughout the focal area using ArcGIS and analysed the data using Minitab. Three urban bird species dominated, with the highest number of observations recorded: Yellow-vented Bulbul (46.59%), Pink-necked Green-Pigeon (19.25%), and Black-naped Oriole (13.00%). While, the Coppersmith Barbet had the lowest recorded observations (2.76%). Species abundance differed significantly across the study region (F=5.12,p<0.05), with the studied species’ occurrence increasing as green spaces increased. Such dynamic mapping is crucial for better understanding the mechanisms of the persistence of urban biodiversity. We suggest creating more green areas and planting roadside trees to provide green corridors within cities to help sustain urban biodiversity.

  • Akmar, A. N., Konijnendijk, C. C., Sreetheran, M., & Nilsson, K. (2011). Greenspace planning and management in Klang valley, Peninsular Malaysia. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, 37(3), 99-107.

  • Aida, N., Sasidhran, S., Kamarudin, N., Aziz, N., Puan, C. L., & Azhar, B. (2016). Woody trees, green space and park size improve avian biodiversity in urban landscapes of Peninsular Malaysia. Ecological Indicators, 69, 176-183. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.04.025

  • Arazmi, F. N., Ismail, N. A., Daud, U. N. S., Abidin, K. Z., Nor, S. M., & Mansor, M. S. (2022). Spread of the invasive Javan myna along an urban–suburban gradient in Peninsular Malaysia. Urban Ecosystems, 25, 1007-1014. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-022-01216-9

  • Aziz, H. A., & Rasidi, M. H. (2013). Study of habitat indicator: Openness and complexity level in the parks of Putrajaya. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 85, 332-344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.08.363

  • Blair, R. B. (1996). Land use and avian species diversity along an urban gradient. Ecological Applications, 6(2), 506-519. https://doi.org/10.2307/2269387

  • Brush, J. S. (2016). Avian communities in an urbanizing region: Abundance patterns and effects of local habitat features. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

  • Callaghan, C. T., Major, R. E., Lyons, M. B., Martin, J. M., & Kingsford, R. T. (2018). The effects of local and landscape habitat attributes on bird diversity in urban greenspaces. Ecosphere, 9(7), Article e02347. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2347

  • Callaghan, C. T., & Gawlik, D. E. (2015). Efficacy of eBird data as an aid in conservation planning and monitoring. Journal of Field Ornithology, 86(4), 298-304. https://doi.org/10.1111/jofo.12121

  • Callaghan, C. T., Major, R. E., Wilshire, J. H., Martin, J. M., Kingsford, R. T., & Cornwell, W. K. (2019). Generalists are the most urban‐tolerant of birds: A phylogenetically controlled analysis of ecological and life history traits using a novel continuous measure of bird responses to urbanization. Oikos, 128(6), 845-858. https://doi.org/10.1111/oik.06158

  • Chace, J., & Walsh, J. J. (2006). Urban effects on native avifauna: A review. Landscape and Urban Planning, 74(1), 46-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2004.08.007

  • Chaiyarat, R., Wutthithai, O., Punwong, P., & Taksintam, W. (2019). Relationships between urban parks and bird diversity in the Bangkok metropolitan area, Thailand. Urban Ecosystems, 22, 201-212.

  • Daud, U. N. S., Ismail, N. A., Nor, S. M., & Mansor, M. S. (2022). Biparental incubation behavior in the domestic house-farmed swiftlets (Aerodramus sp.) in central Peninsular Malaysia. Animal Biology, 1(aop), 1-11.

  • Hensley, C. B. (2018). Effects of Urbanization on Bird Assemblages in Three Southwestern U.S. Cities (Thesis dissertation). California State University, US. https://www.proquest.com/dissertations-theses/effects-urbanization-on-bird-assemblages-three/docview/2073727538/se-2

  • Idilfitri, S., & Mohamad, H. N. N. (2012). Role of Ornamental Vegetation for Birds’ Habitats in Urban Parks: Case Study FRIM, Malaysia. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 68, 894-909. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.12.275

  • Idilfitri, S., Sulaiman, S., & Salleh, N. S. (2014). Role of ornamental plants for bird community’habitats in urban parks. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 153, 666-677. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.10.098

  • Jasmani, Z., Ravn, H. P., & van den Bosch, C. C. K. (2017). The influence of small urban parks characteristics on bird diversity: A case study of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Urban Ecosystems, 20, 227-243. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-016-0584-7

  • Kark, S., Iwaniuk, A., Schalimtzek, A., & Banker, E. (2007). Living in the city: Can anyone become an ‘urban exploiter’? Journal of Biogeography, 34(4), 638-651. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01638.x

  • Karuppannan, S., Baharuddin, Z. M., Sivam, A., & Daniels, C. B. (2014). Urban green space and urban biodiversity: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Journal of Sustainable Development, 7(1), 1-16.

  • Malaysia Biodiversity Information System. (2021). Treron Vernans. https://www.mybis.gov.my/sp/22659

  • Mansor, M. S., & Ramli, R. (2017). Niche separation in flycatcher-like species in the lowland rainforests of Malaysia. Behavioural Processes, 140, 121-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2017.04.010

  • Mansor, M. S., Ramli, R., & Sah, S. A. M. (2015). The foraging tactics of Chestnut-winged Babbler (Stachyris erythroptera) and Abbott’s Babbler (Malacocincla abbotti) in a lowland rainforest, Malaysia. Sains Malaysiana, 44(5), 687-692.

  • Mansor, M. S., Sah, S. A. M., Lim, C. K., & Rahman, M. A. (2011). Bird species diversity in the Padawan limestone area, Sarawak. Tropical Life Sciences Research, 22(2), 65-85.

  • Marzluff, J. M. (2001). Worldwide urbanization and its effects on birds. In J. Marzluff, R. Bowman, & R. Donnelly (Eds.), Avian Ecology in an Urbanizing World (pp. 19-47). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-1531-9_2

  • Marzluff, J. M., & Ewing, K. (2001). Restoration of fragmented landscapes for the conservation of birds: A general framework and specific recommendations for urbanizing landscapes. In J. M. Marzluff, E. Shulenberger, W. Endlicher, M. Alberti, G. Bradley, C. Ryan, U. Simon, & C. ZumBrunnen (Eds.), Urban Ecology, (pp. 739-755). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73412-5_48

  • McKinney, M. L. (2008). Effects of urbanization on species richness: A review of plants and animals. Urban Ecosystems, 11, 161-176. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-007-0045-4

  • Mohd-Taib, F., Rabiatul-Adawiyah, S., & Md-Nor, S. (2014). Birds communities of fragmented forest within highly urbanized landscape in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1614, Article 651. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4895279

  • Moller, A. P. (2009). Successful city dwellers: A comparative study of the ecological characteristics of urban birds in the Western Palearctic. Oecologia, 159, 849-858. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-008-1259-8

  • Nasruddin-Roshidi, A., Mansor, M. S., Ismail, N. A., Ngadi, E., Izzat-Husna, M., Husin, S. M., Mohd-Taib, F. S., Illias, R., & Nor, S. M. (2021). Recovery of bird communities following the construction of a large-scale hydroelectric dam. Ecological Processes, 10, Article 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13717-021-00298-1

  • Odling-Smee, J., Erwin, D. H., Palkovacs, E. P., Feldman, M. W., Laland, K. N., & Thomson, J. (2013). Niche construction theory: A practical guide for ecologists. The Quarterly Review Biology, 88(1), 4-28. https://doi.org/10.1086/669266

  • Palacio, F. X. (2020). Urban exploiters have broader dietary niches than urban avoiders. Ibis, 162(1), 42-49. https://doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12732

  • Puan, C. L., Yeong, K. L., Ong, K. W., Fauzi, M. I. A., Yahya, M. S., & Khoo, S. S. (2019). Influence of landscape matrix on urban bird abundance: evidence from Malaysian citizen science data. Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity, 12(3), 369-375. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.japb.2019.03.008

  • Sandström, U. G., Angelstam, P., & Mikusiński, G. (2006). Ecological diversity of birds in relation to the structure of urban green space. Landscape and Urban Planning, 77(1-2), 39-53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2005.01.004

  • Seress, G., & Liker, A. (2015). Habitat urbanization and its effects on birds. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 61(4), 373-408. https://dx.doi.org/10.17109/AZH.61.4.373.2015

  • Sol, D., González-Lagos, C., Moreira, D., & Maspons, J. (2013). Measuring tolerance to urbanization for comparative analyses. Ardeola, 60(1), 3-13. https://doi.org/10.13157/arla.60.1.2012.3

  • Sullivan, B. L., Aycrigg, J. L., Barry, J. H., Bonney, R. E., Bruns, N., Cooper, C. B., Damoulas, T., Dhondt, A. A., Dietterich, T., Farnsworth, A., Fink, D., Fitzpatrick, J. W., Fredericks, T., Gerbracht, J., Gomes, C., Hochachka, W. M., Iliff, M. J., Lagoze, C., La Sorte, F. A., … & Kelling, S. (2014). The eBird enterprise: An integrated approach to development and application of citizen science. Biological Conservation, 169, 31-40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2013.11.003

  • United Nations. (2019). World urbanization prospects. The 2018 revision. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations. https://population.un.org/wup/publications/Files/WUP2018-Report.pdf

  • Webb, C. T., Hoeting, J. A., Ames, G. M., Pyne, M. I., & LeRoy Poff, N. (2010). A structured and dynamic framework to advance traits-based theory and prediction in ecology. Ecology Letters, 13(3), 267-283. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01444.x

  • Wells, D. R. (2007). Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Non-passerines (Vol. 1). Bloomsbury Publishing Plc.

  • Wells, D. R. (2009). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Passerines (Vol. 2). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd.

  • Wilson, R. F., Sarim, D., & Rahman, S. (2015). Factors influencing the distribution of the invasive house crow (Corvus splendens) in rural and urban landscapes. Urban Ecosystems, 18(4), 1389-1400. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-015-0448-6

  • Yaakob, U., Masron, T., & Masami, F. (2010). Ninety years of urbanization in Malaysia: A geographical investigation of its trends and characteristics. Journal of Ritsumeikan Social Sciences and Humanities, 4(3), 79-101.

  • Yusop, M. Y. M., Ibrahim, Z., Hamzah, M. H., Mamat, I., Isa, J. M., Salikan, S., & Hussein, S. Z. (2021). A survey of birds in an urban tropical rainforest park: Kuala Lumpur Eco-Forest Park, Bukit Nanas. The Malaysian Forester, 84(1), 114-119.

  • Zhou, D., Fung, T., & Chu, L. (2012). Avian community structure of urban parks in developed and new growth areas: A landscape-scale study in Southeast Asia. Landscape and Urban Planning, 108(2-4), 91-102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.08.004

ISSN 0128-7680

e-ISSN 2231-8526

Article ID


Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles