Using Conditioned Food Aversion (CFA) to reduce Pied Crow (Corbus albus) predation of plover nests

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Flower, Thomas en_ZA
dc.contributor.advisor Thomson, Robert en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Ferguson, Angela en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-07-26T12:18:03Z
dc.date.available 2016-07-26T12:18:03Z
dc.date.issued 2016 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Ferguson, A. 2016. Using Conditioned Food Aversion (CFA) to reduce Pied Crow (Corbus albus) predation of plover nests. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/20781
dc.description.abstract Nest predation is one of the principle constraints on bird breeding success, accounting for 20 to 80% of all nest failures. It can be exacerbated by anthropogenic factors and the resultant increased predation pressure has caused the decline of numerous bird species worldwide. Identifying management strategies to reduce nest predation is consequently a priority for biodiversity conservation. Many lethal and non-lethal methods of predator control can be ineffective, unethical, time-consuming and expensive to implement. An alternative is the use of Conditioned Food Aversion (CFA), a method by which animals are deliberately induced to avoid nests following consumption of eggs treated with an illness-inducing toxin. Previous studies suggest that this technique is effective but many have been subject to several methodological flaws that limit their applicability. Here I employ an improved experimental design that uses both spatial and temporal controls and incorporates quantification of predator identity and abundance. By so doing the resultant effects can be attributed to CFA treatment with higher certainty. In the Berg River Estuary, South Africa, nest losses of the Kittlitz's Plover (Charadrius pecuarius) are high due to Pied Crow (Corvus albus) nest predation. I used this common plover as a model species to test whether CFA can be used as a conservation management tool to reduce nest predation. I used a field experiment to assess whether provisioning quail eggs treated with carbachol, an illness-inducing chemical, resulted in reduced nest predation. To assess the effects of treatment, nest survival data for both artificial plover nests containing quail eggs and natural Kittlitz's plover nests, as well as predator abundance were compared across three experimental phases (pre-treatment, treatment and post-treatment) and according to treatment type (carbachol versus water). en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Conservation Biology en_ZA
dc.subject.other Ornithology en_ZA
dc.title Using Conditioned Food Aversion (CFA) to reduce Pied Crow (Corbus albus) predation of plover nests en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MSc en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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