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Fragments of habitat are often viewed as islands and are managed as such; however, habitat fragmentation includes a wide range of spatial patterns of environments that may occur on many spatial scales. Fragments exist in a complex landscape mosaic, and dynamics within a fragment are affected by external factors that vary as the mosaic structure changes. The simple analogy of fragments to islands, therefore, is unsatisfactory. Understanding how birds respond to these complexities of fragmentation requires mechanistic studies focused on habitat selection and movement behaviour. Conservation efforts must be based on viewing fragmentation as a range of conditions that occurs in a landscape mosaic, and management should be directed toward the mosaics rather than focusing solely on reserves.