Impact of human activities on the reproduction of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus in Burkina Faso
During the last decades, the critically endangered Hooded Vulture Necrosyrtes monachus has strongly declined across its African range. Although direct persecution has been suggested as a major cause of this decline, little is known about the impact of humans on reproductive output in West Africa. We studied the impact of human activities on the reproductive output of Hooded Vultures in the Garango area of Burkina Faso. Twenty and 56 nesting attempts were monitored, respectively, during the breeding season in 2013/14 and 2014/15, to determine reproductive success and identify causes of nest failure. Annual breeding success varied between 0.68 and 0.71 chicks fledged per breeding pair per year and productivity was assessed at 0.57 chicks fledged per territorial pair in 2014/15. The main threats imposed by humans were poaching of eggs, chicks and collection of nest materials, leading to 20% (13 out of 64 breeding attempts) of nest failures over the two years. An additional important reason for nest failure was the pruning and (partial) cutting of nest trees. Despite this high level of human interference, we found that Hooded Vulture nest success increased with proximity to human settlements, probably because breeding vultures benefit from protection by people against persecution and disturbance.
Keywords: Burkina Faso, conservation, Hooded Vulture, human impact, reproduction