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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


FLORES-MEZA, SOFÍA; KATUNARIC-NUNEZ, MARIANNE; ROVIRA-SOTO, JAIME  and  REBOLLEDO-GONZALEZ, MATÍAS. Identification of favorable areas for the vertebrate fauna richness in urban and peri-urban areas of the Metropolitan Region, Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2013, vol.86, n.3, pp.265-278. ISSN 0716-078X.

Several studies reveal that the richness of fauna declines with urbanization- being able to live into urban areas, such as birds, mammals, and herpetofauna. This research aims to be the first one in estimating indirectly the potential urban fauna richness in Santiago. In order to achieve this, a multicriteria analysis was conducted based on five factors (human disturbance, energy present in the system, heterogeneity of land uses, complexity of land uses, and natural areas), which contribute to the fauna richness along with their respective relative weights. Thus, a potential fauna richness index (PFRI) was generated, whose mapping allowed the identification of favorable areas for the fauna richness (FAFR). In addition, the effect of a gradient of urbanization on FAFR was evaluated, the connectivity between FAFR was generated, and also the PFRI over the green areas, which belong to the urban area, was analyzed. As a result, in the urban area, the highest PFRI was displayed in the municipalities of Lampa, Lo Barnechea, Vitacura, and Peñalolen, followed by San Bernardo, Puente Alto, Pudahuel, Las Condes y Quilicura. Connectivity between FAFR was located north-east of Santiago city and near the Andes. Public green areas showed a surface and a PFRI with low value, in contrast to private green areas, located north-east with the higher values. Additionally, there is no perceivable effecton the PFRI due to the gradient of urbanization. Perhaps it is because, near to the limit of the urban area, there are highly densified natural patches. Consequently, the urban areas in Santiago would not help increasing the fauna richness, being the most affected species those that inhabit in the ground. Finally, at the moment of evaluation of the fauna richness, not only a landscape study should be conducted, but also the local habitat characteristics should be incorporated, among which highlights the surface of the green areas. Also it is necessary to carry out an urban landscape planning, which leads to the connectivity between natural patches and green areas. This planning would allow the entry of fauna that circulates around urban areas, and thus would contribute to the improvement of biodiversity.

Keywords : connectivity; gradient of urbanization; green areas; urban biodiversity.

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