Threats and control of the brown necked ravens (Corvus ruficollis) in Egypt

Awad A F El-Bahrawy, Martina G Vijver, G.R. de Snoo

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientific

Abstract

The Suez Canal region is a small fertile area in Egypt that is placed under enormous pressure of existing resources. In these areas, intensive agricultural practices are performed in combination with high population densities. The described problem is that together with agricultural practices and urbanization, Brown necked ravens (Corvus ruficollis) are in huge amounts attracted. The birds are very aggressive and showed to be a serious pest. They spread germs and diseases for human health and food production. Therefore, the birds need to be controlled. Our research focuses on identifying food preferences of raven and on the way raven control is most effective. Ravens are omnivorous birds. From our laboratory study it was seen that most preferable foods were, in descending order: fresh fishes, cow liver, crustacean, watermelons, tomatoes and yoghurt. Under field conditions where stomach content was dissected, animal matters showed to a more preferred food source than plant matters. Observations on olfactory sensitivity showed that ravens could easily locate their food. Biological observations in the field on reproduction of ravens showed that raven females lay two to six eggs. Average number of babies per nest was between one and four. Average number of raven flock before sun rise was more than 100, while it was less than 100 before sun set. The impact of mechanical, biological and chemical control was investigated. Without control, approximately flock numbers of more than 100 ravens were recorded. The average number of raven flock was 60 before mechanical control operation (nests destroyed and using net), while it was 40 after mechanical control. Results of the biological control showed that kestrel (Falco tinnunculus rupicolaeformes) predated raven babies more effective than barn owls (Tyto alba). Within the chemical control experiments, Brodifacoum (0.0005%) was most effective against ravens, followed by Zink phosphide (19%) and Methomyl (90%, carbamate compound).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages12
JournalCommunications in agricultural and applied biological sciences
Volume72
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • 4-Hydroxycoumarins/toxicity
  • Animals
  • Crows/growth & development
  • Egypt
  • Falconiformes/physiology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences
  • Male
  • Oviposition
  • Pest Control/methods
  • Pest Control, Biological
  • Population Control/methods
  • Population Density
  • Population Growth
  • Predatory Behavior/physiology

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