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Title: The ecology and conservation of scavenging birds in southern Africa
Author: Bamford, Andrew J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 5373
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2008
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Like many large raptors, vultures are intolerant of humans, making them difficult to study; consequently their ecology is not well understood. New technologies such as satellite tracking, and more powerful statistical analysis have the potential to reveal more about these birds. White-backed vultures display an aversion to nesting in proximity to humans, and, in areas with high human population densities, are restricted to nesting in nature reserves and private game farms; lappet-faced vultures display even less tolerance to human presence. Cape vultures, fitted with satellite tracking devices, showed a preference for foraging close to their nest or roost, but avoided areas of human settlement when foraging. White-backed vultures appear adaptable in their choice of nest site and can nest at high densities; they appear able to survive in small protected areas, but this is not true of other species. Habitat associations of vultures were not general across regions. Breeding success of vultures and marabou storks is apparently related to food availability. In the case of white-backed vultures nest success was also negatively affected by nesting density, but density did not affect the colonially nesting marabou or territorial lappet-faced vulture. Immature birds are capable of moving large distances after fledging: movements of over 1000km from the nest site were recorded by cape vultures and marabous. These results have implications for the continued survival of these species; their differing abilities to adapt to human presence will most likely affect those chances of survival.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available