Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow: From Genes to Populations

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9780195304114: Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow: From Genes to Populations
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After the chicken, the House Sparrow is the most widely distributed bird species in the world, occurring on all continents except Antarctica and on most human-inhabited islands. Although its Latin name is Passer domesticus, it is certainly not domesticated. In fact, it is widely regarded as a pest species and is consequently not protected in most of its extensive range. This combination of ubiquity and minimal legal protection has contributed to its wide use in studies by avian biologists throughout the world.

The purpose of this book is to review and summarize the results of these global studies on House Sparrows, and to provide a springboard for future studies on the species. House Sparrows have been used to study natural selection in introduced species, circadian rhythms, and the neuroendocrine control of the avian annual cycle. One current question of considerable interest concerns the catastrophic House Sparrow population declines in several urban centers in Europe. Is the House Sparrow a contemporary canary in the mine? Other topics of broad interest include the reproductive and flock-foraging strategies of sparrows, and sexual selection and the function of the male badge in the species. Anderson also explores the role of the House Sparrow in disease transmission to humans and their domesticated animals.

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Ted R. Anderson is Emeritus Professor of Biology at McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois.

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"The author's knowledge of the house sparrow is extensive. He not only does a formidable job of summarizing the vast amounts of available information, but also highlights areas where data are still lacking."--The Quarterly Review of Biology Biology


"Remarkable book ... If you have any interest in the biology of this quintessential 'little brown bird', still an enigma in many ways, then Biology of the Ubiquitous House Sparrow is an absolute must."--IBIS


"Extensive in breadth and impressive in depth, is a welcome addition..."--Journal of Field Ornithology


"This book is as thorough a treatment of a single species as could be imaged. ... an ideal text for a graduate seminar." --CHOICE


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