The Ecology of Black Crowned Crane (Pavonina Pavonina Ceciliae) in Relation to Changes of Land Use at Lake Tana, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Black Crowned Crane is a resident species in Ethiopia. However, the available information on the breeding, feeding ecology and its status is in adequate. This study was carried out in Lake Tana area, from 2014-2016. The study aims to investigate the breeding and feeding ecology, distribution, abundance and habitat change of cranes. Different statistical tools were used to evaluate the different parameters. ANOVA and Shannon diversity index, a fixed GLM procedure and MANOVA were applied. A total of 74 and 56 transects in 2015 and 2016 was carried out to estimate the abundance and density of cranes. Multiple Covariate Distance sampling model was employed for distance analysis. Wetland habitat shrinkage was evaluated from the land use land cover change from 1986 to 2016. The result showed that all crane nests were located only in wetlands where water depth ranged 135-220 cm. The active nesting time was September to October. The inter-distance between nests did not vary from site to site. Cranes utilized nest materials collected from the nesting place. The mean vegetation height at which the nest constructed was variable. The nest morphology parameters were not different statistically. The nesting density was 6-7 /100 ha. The average clutch size of Black Crowned Crane was two (n=92). The mean length of eggs was 76.94±.22 mm, and width measured 54.05±.07 mm. The mean weight of eggs (n=92) were 111.99±.65g. There was a positive correlation between egg length and width, and were statistically significant. Hatchability was 91.3%, but the pre-fledged percentage was about 50%. Oryza longistaminata and Leersia hexandra were the dominant macrophytes. The distribution and biomass of macro-invertebrates were significantly different across study sites (P<.05). The most abundant and frequently occurring taxa were Libellulidae, Coenagrionidae, Hydrophilidae, and Culicidae. Grass seeds and crop seeds were major food sources of cranes. Fecal analysis of cranes revealed that the diet contained parts of plants, fragments of animal origin and small quantities of inorganic materials and shells at different proportion. There was spatial and seasonal variation in the distribution of cranes. Crane population was more abundant during the dry season. Chimba and Yiganda wetlands are identified as the main breeding and feeding sites; however, the habitats shrunk by 47% in Chimba and by 25% in Yiganda. Agricultural encroachment, livestock pressure and population growth are the main threats. Keywords/phrases: Breeding, crane density, diet, egg and nest morphometry, land use land cover, nest



Breeding, Crane Density, Diet, Egg and Nest Morphometry, Land Use Land Cover, Nest