Publication: Distance to landfill and human activities affects the debris incorporation into the white stork nests in urbanized landscape in central Spain
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Human’s activities dominates many aspects of the Earth’s environment; thus animals are forced to adapt and respond to the resulting changes in habitat structure and functioning due to anthropogenic pressure. Along with the growing human population and the associated amount of waste produced, the amount of different type of physical contamination component in environment is increasing. Incorporation of debris in nests may be a mounting avian response to anthropogenic pollution. In this research, we quantified the constituent pieces and total mass of human-derived materials incorporated in white stork nests. The study was conducted on four locations in central Spain where white storks nest along a urbanization gradient. In total, we examined 49 nests. This study demonstrates that the incorporation of debris by white storks into their nests is related to human activity, measured by the Human Footprint Index (HFI). Moreover, the distance between these nests and landfills predicts the occurrence of debris incorporated into nests. Our study shows that birds nest building behaviour is impacted by human activities and pollution in environment.