Breeding biology of the Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) in Swaziland

  • A Monadjem Department of Biological Sciences, University of Swaziland, Private Bag 4, Kwaluseni, Swaziland


The breeding biology of the Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus) was studied in Hlane National Park, north-eastern Swaziland. This breeding colony was first recorded in 1964. A minimum of 15 pairs bred there in 2003. Counts from aerial census suggest that equally large numbers have been breeding there since, at least, 1995. Marabous selected nesting sitesin relatively low-crowned trees of Acacia tortilis and A. nilotica, which were situated well away from rivers or standing water. Eggs were laid bimodally between June and September. Mean clutch size was 2.1 eggs and fecundity (or productivity) was 0.41 chicks/pair/annum. Measurements taken from chicks of known age allowed for the calculation of growth rates. The Marabou population in Swaziland cannot sustain itself without immigration from other populations. However, due to the relatively large number of pairs that have bred continuously and regularly for the past three or four decades, this population is viewed as being of regional conservation significance.

Ostrich 2005, 76(3&4): 185–189

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eISSN: 1727-947X
print ISSN: 0030-6525