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Crow and Vulture Nest Density and Placement Pattern on Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Campus, Kumasi
The location and density of nests of the hooded vulture (Necrosyrtes monacus) and the pied crow (Corvus albus) were systematically investigated on the campus of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, from December, 2004 to April, 2005. Trees with crow and vulture nests were identified, and the positions of nests above ground (nest height) determined in three sites on the campus categorized as developed, undeveloped (protected) and undeveloped (unprotected). Canopy cover (above and at nest level) were visually estimated. In all, one hundred and two (102) nests were recorded of which 35 were inhabited by crows and 67 by vultures. Crow and vulture nest densities were found to be 2.73 km-2 and 5.23 km-2, respectively. Mean nest height for crow was 18m (S.D. 5.9) and that for vulture was 17m (S.D. 4.9). Eighty-nine per cent (89%) of all nests were found in the developed areas of the KNUST campus, a situation which can be attributable to availability of food source. The birds clearly demonstrated host tree specificity, nesting on only 13 tree species out of an estimated 200 or more plants on campus. Terminalia catapa was the most preferred host tree, accounting for approximately 29% of all nests encountered. To ensure maximum protection, most of the birds nested on trees with sparse to dense foliage. The results of this study suggest threatening conservation implications for these wild birds, in view of the indiscriminate felling of trees especially around human habitations.
Journal of the Ghana Science Association Vol. 9 (2) 2007: pp. 138-145