2. A global modification in avifaunal behavior by use of waste disposal sites (waste dumps/rubbish dumps): A review paper

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Zunaira Noreen, Khawar Sultan


Urbanization is associated with production of huge mass of waste dumped at landfills attracting a large number of birds for food subsidies hence transforming dumping sites into novel habitats. The exploitation of waste dumps by birds and resultant issues has been reported from all over the world. We carried out a review of literature since 1960s until present regarding bird species foraging at waste dumps and resultant impacts. The 151 reviewed articles showed presence of 67 bird species including 10 endangered species on various waste dumps of the world. The research trend shows intensive studies on waste dumps of coastal areas of developed countries with main focus on gull species of genus Larus. A few studies have also been conducted at inland waste dumps focusing on bird species (Kites, Vultures, Storks, etc.) other than gulls. The individual level impacts of foraging at waste dumps include changing foraging habits, plastic ingestion, triggering reproductive cycles, pathogen infection risks and development of new learning mechanisms. The seasonal abundances, population explosion, change in migratory routes, problem of superabundant, invasive and endangered species are all included in population studies. The interactions with humans include ecosystem services of scavenging, exposure to pathogenic microorganisms, strikes to aircraft and economic loss done in controlling birds at waste dumps. A knowledge gap of research work at the inland waste dumps is identified around the globe in general and in South Asian region in particular with only a few studies in this context. It is found that with changing management practices in developed countries intensity of problem is reduced over the time but it remains critical in developing countries.

Keywords:  Behavior; Birds; Ecology; Food waste; Impact; Toxicology; Waste dumps


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