Published: Jan 1981
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The standard methods presently used by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Quelea Project for estimating mortality in quelea breeding colonies and roosts after spraying are described. Factors are discussed which influence the accuracy of the estimates, such as the period in the breeding cycle, the tendency for the birds to die quicker with one avicide than another, the type of vegetation used for roosting and nesting, and the difficulty of making accurate assessments of the roost numbers. Whatever the estimate produced, it is postulated that the number or percentage of birds killed has only limited significance. What really matters is whether quelea damage to nearby cereal crops has been curtailed effectively. Ultimate success, therefore, can be evaluated only by crop damage assessments both before aerial spraying and again at the time of harvesting. Methods used in crop damage assessment are considered and examples provided of their use in evaluation of quelea control.
bird control, quelea, aerial spraying, mortality estimates, damage assessment, vertebrate pest control
Ornithologist/ecologist, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Regional Quelea Project, Arusha,