Ecological Studies of Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos Crumeniferus) Around Hawassa Lake, Southern Ethiopia.

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Addis Ababa University


A study was carried out around Lake Hawassa, covering both wet and dry seasons in 2017/18, to investigate the population structure, habitat association, feeding ecology and reproductive patterns of the Marabou stork (leptoptilos crumeniferus). Sample sites were designed based on the vegetation type and area cover. Point count and nest monitoring method were used on the three selected sites. Direct observation techniques were also used to collect necessary information. A total of 289 and 366 Marabou storks were counted during the dry and wet seasons, respectively. Birds counted during the dry and wet season, were significantly different (p<0.05). Lake shore was highly preferred for feeding. They were observed to feed on food items such as fish scraps (35%), carrion (27%), insects (13%), worm (12%) and frog (11%), with variations from season to season. Their breeding nests were mostly in the town and on the top of Acacia tortilis and Acacia nilotica trees. On average, the female laid 3 eggs and both parents share in guarding and incubating eggs for 29-31 days. Marabou take long period of 124 days from hatching to fledging, with first flights out of nest during 90-110 days. The chicks show variation in physical status at different days. Habitat degradation in connection with recreation area and extreme exploitation of fishing activities are the main threats to the survival of Marabou storks and other wetland birds of the present study area.



Acacia, Hawassa, Marabou Stork, Water Birds