Birds, Bioindicators of the Quality of Urban Green Open Space in Jakarta

  • Because of their high dependence on trees, birds can be used as bioindicators of the quality of green open spaces (RTH) in urban areas such as the city of Jakarta.
  • Compared to other animals, birds are easier to observe. Moreover, most of the taxonomic data and types are already well known and identified.
  • Birds as one part of urban biodiversity provide high environmental service value
  • Using bird communities as a natural instrument to measure the quality of urban green open spaces is considered easier than using chemical parameters.

As creatures that cannot live alone, the existence of birds in nature largely depends on standing trees to carry out their activities. For them, trees are a source of livelihood, a place to find food, shelter and reproduce.

Because of their high dependence on trees, these vertebrate animals which have feathers and wings can be used as bioindicators of the quality of green open spaces (RTH) in urban areas, such as in DKI Jakarta.

Walid Rumblat (33), Biology lecturer at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, said that the benchmark was based on the fact that ecologically birds are creatures that have many potential characteristics.

For example, the distribution of these bird species can be influenced by habitat fragmentation or other habitat structure parameters.

In addition, compared to other taxa, birds tend to be easier to observe as research objects. Moreover, most of the taxonomic data is already known and well identified.

"Therefore, this bird community can be a good indicator for assessing the quality of the environment in urban areas. "If the green open space contains various types of bird characters, then the area is of good quality," explained Walid when contacted,

In the food chain, he continued, birds occupy high trophic levels which can reflect changes in the trophic levels below them. On the other hand, the composition of bird communities reflects interspecific dynamics and symptoms of population change.

Interspecific dynamics is competition between species to obtain shared resources such as space, food and nesting locations.

Natural Instruments

This man who teaches ornithology courses, which is a branch of zoology that studies birds, believes that using bird communities as a natural instrument for measuring the quality of urban green open spaces tends to be easier than using chemical parameters.

This is because the process using chemical parameters is more complicated, requires relatively large facilities and costs. Even though it is easy, there are several steps that need to be taken to use this bird indicator.

Among them are the selection of types and interpretation of bird guilds , including food guilds , species origin, reproductive strategies, nest placement, activity times and main habitats.

Next is calculating the Bird Community Index (IKB) value, and also determining the environmental quality category based on the IKB value.

"The birds that get the highest scores are birds with more specific ecological characteristics, for example the common parrot. "If an area is only filled with sparrows or sparrows, it means the value is small," he said.

Meanwhile, Jihad, Senior Biodiversity Officer for Indonesian Birds, said that not only in natural forests, birds also have a strategic role in urban forests. Its existence can ensure that the ecological system or regeneration of tree stands can take place in a sustainable manner, without human intervention.

Apart from that, birds are also animals that are easily found in environments with vegetation in various types of ecosystems.

That way it can become a potential source of biological wealth. Apart from that, the distribution of birds is also wide and diverse, so they have many benefits for life, such as playing a role in balancing the ecosystem, as well as being an indicator of environmental change.

"Bird communities in urban areas can also be an indicator of good and bad water quality. "This is because there are several types of water birds that live in aquatic ecosystems, for example in rivers, coasts and lakes in urban areas," 

Development Assets

Birds as part of urban biodiversity provide very high environmental service value and are a vital development asset. For this reason, integrated management efforts are needed to protect it.

Helmy Zulhidayat, Head of the Environmental Management Division of the DKI Jakarta Environmental Service, said that to maintain and increase biodiversity, especially birds, his party has made various efforts. This includes providing protection or maintenance for natural ecosystems, especially coastal and coastal ecosystems.

This is important to do considering the potential threats coming from pollution and land change are very large. In fact, this ecosystem is an important area for both migratory and protected birds.

"To reduce the risk of catching birds for sale, public awareness of the importance of biodiversity is also needed," 

The man born in Jakarta assessed that so far the existence of green open spaces in DKI Jakarta has proven to provide great benefits. To increase biodiversity in it, according to him, adequate habitat design for birds is needed.

Such as choosing the type and habitus of plants planted. This is important to do because trees can have an influence on various types of birds.

For this reason, he said, green open spaces need to be planted with various plants or trees that can be used by birds, for example buni trees (Antidesma bunius), laurel (Syzygium polyanthum) and hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).

“The richness of bird species is influenced by the diversity of vegetation structure. "The more diverse the vegetation structure, the higher the diversity of bird species," he added.

To realize the preservation of biodiversity and the development of sustainable benefit values, the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has prepared a Master Plan for Biodiversity Management 2020-2024 in its working area.

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