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A spatio-temporal model for predicting when and where Red-billed Quelea will breed in southern Africa

A spatio-temporal model for predicting when and where Red-billed Quelea will breed in southern Africa

Cheke, Robert A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7437-1934, Venn, Jon F. and Jones, Peter J. (2006) A spatio-temporal model for predicting when and where Red-billed Quelea will breed in southern Africa. Journal of Ornithology, 147 (Sup 1). p. 147. ISSN 0021-8375 (Print), 1439-0361 (Online) (doi:10.1007/s10336-006-0093-1)

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Abstract

We present the first explicit spatio-temporal model of the
movements of a nomadic granivorous bird, the Red-billed Quelea(Quelea quelea), in southern Africa. These abundant birds breed colonially whenever conditions permit, traveling long distances to find breeding habitat or to avoid food shortage. They breed in the
wet season and shift about in dry seasons to concentrations of seeds of preferred annual grasses. Ecological and behavioral data suggest that, at the start of the rains, grass seeds germinate after a threshold quantity of 60 mm rain has fallen, forcing the birds to
move out to zones where seeds have not yet germinated. When
rain reaches the latter areas, the birds are forced to move again,usually returning in "early-rains migrations" in the direction whence they came. By this time, an additional 240 mm of rain(300 mm in total) needs to have fallen within a 6-week period for the new grass to produce fresh seed. Breeding may then begin.Adult birds subsequently move on a "breeding migration" to
wherever at least 300 mm of rain has fallen for further nesting attempts in the season. Using estimates of rainfall derived from
Meteosat Cold Cloud Duration (CCD) data, a forecasting model
has been devised that shows, at wee'"klyintervals, those areas where (a) the wet season has not yet started, (b) the "early-rains migration" threshold has been exceeded, (c) the threshold to permit breeding has been exceeded, and (d) conditions are no
longer suitable for the establishment of new colonies. We review the simple algorithms necessary to produce a realistic model for predicting when and where quelea will breed, and describe the results for validating it using data on breeding by southern African populations of quelea over the past four breeding seasons 2001-02 to 2004-05. Queleas are major pests of small-grain cereal crops throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and our model has the potential to alleviate crop losses by enabling better targeting of control operations against these birds

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Abstract of poster presentation, 24th International Ornithological Congress, held 13-19 August 2006, Hamburg, Germany.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Red-billed Quelea, crop pests
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2015 15:22
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/3171

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