Open Journal of Ecology

Volume 6, Issue 5 (April 2016)

ISSN Print: 2162-1985   ISSN Online: 2162-1993

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Predation Capability of Black Kite (Milvus migrans parasitus) on Locust as a Biological Control Option in Madagascar

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2016.65026    1,919 Downloads   2,595 Views  Citations

ABSTRACT

In Madagascar, the South and Southwest regions have for decades had locust outbreaks that have devastated crop fields. The locust species dominant in this area are the red locust (Nomadacris septemfasciata) and the Migratory Locust (Locusta migratoria capito). This paper aimed at determining the predation values from the Black Kite (Milvus migrans parasitus), a natural enemy for locusts, as a biological measure for locust outbreak control. Two types of experiments were done that included observed predation and experimental predation. It was observed, in the observed predation, that a higher number of locusts were found in the bird’s stomach during the afternoon session (mean = 66) than during the morning session (mean = 21). The high peak observed during the afternoon session was also associated with the feeding of larvae of the migratory locust. The experimental predation results showed that almost 100 percent of the larval and 97 percent of the fledglings were fed on. The experimental predation results also showed that there was no preference for larvae or fledglings in the cage and that the bird fed on the different combinations equally. This study showed that the Black Kite birds can effectively control locust population in an outbreak when they are easy to predate on. However, there is a need to assess the population of birds in locust infested areas to determine if the bird population is enough to predate on a locust outbreak.

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Andriatsirevombola, M. , Ge, J. and Raholijaona,  . (2016) Predation Capability of Black Kite (Milvus migrans parasitus) on Locust as a Biological Control Option in Madagascar. Open Journal of Ecology, 6, 254-263. doi: 10.4236/oje.2016.65026.

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