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Hollsten, Linnea, 2023. Hawk-kite as a scaring method for avian pests in Kenyan rice fields. Second cycle, A2E. Grimsö: SLU, Dept. of Ecology



The human population is increasing globally, and so are the human-wildlife interactions and conservation conflicts. One source of conservation conflict is the crop damage caused by wildlife. Crop damage is negatively affecting farmers, but also the wildlife due to lethal methods used to reduce the damage. In Kenya, birds are a great threat to the rice production and chemical spraying is used to reduce the damage. To decrease the use of chemicals, other less harmful methods, such as scaring, are needed. In this study, the efficiency of a scaring kite, mimicking a bird of prey (hawk-kite), was tested in south-central Kenya. Rice was used as a bait and the number of birds visiting bait stations at sites with and without hawk-kites were compared. Also, to get a better understanding of the current situation and the challenges with damaging birds, farmers producing rice were interviewed.
The hawk-kite almost halved the number of birds visiting the bait stations. Also, the birds did not seem to habituate to the kites, at least not over a 4-day period. Moreover, the interview confirmed that grain-eating birds is the major threat to the rice production and that many farmers are positive to the chemical sprays due to lack of better options. However, it seems like the hawk-kite has potential to be used as a scaring method in rice fields in Kenya, but the efficiency is likely dependent on the kite-type, weather conditions, bird species and food availability. Moreover, when scaring birds for periods longer than four days, habituation may still be a challenge. Since the hawk-kite was found to decrease the number of birds in bait stations, they could provide a better alternative to the chemical sprays in the rice fields, which in turn would lead to more sustainable food production for the increasing human population.

Main title:Hawk-kite as a scaring method for avian pests in Kenyan rice fields
Authors:Hollsten, Linnea
Supervisor:Månsson, Johan and Seiler, Andreas and Nyaga, Justin
Examiner:Wikenros, Camilla
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
Keywords:bird, crop, damage mitigation, pest control, repellent
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Deposited On:06 Oct 2023 10:38
Metadata Last Modified:07 Oct 2023 01:00

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