oa African Journal of Wildlife Research - Winter scavenging rates under power lines in the Karoo, South Africa - : short communication

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2410-7220
  • E-ISSN: 2410-8200



Bird mortality from collisions with power lines, wind turbines and other infrastructure is a global conservation problem (Drewitt & Langston, 2008; Jenkins, Smallie & Diamond, 2010). Millions of birds are thought to die annually this way, but calculating accurate fatality figures is extremely difficult (Drewitt & Langston, 2008). Fatality rates are normally estimated from periodic carcass searches, e.g. under representative sections of power line, but alone these can give misleading underestimates of true rates (Smallwood, 2007; Ponce, Alonso, Argandoña, Fernández & Carrassco, 2010). Several bias factors should be taken into account to allow for carcasses missed through removal by scavengers or decomposition (scavenger bias), varying levels of observer efficiency/different habitat types (search bias) and injured birds that die away from the search area (crippling bias; Bevanger, 1999).

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