An open-content, electronic journal published by the Animal Demography Unit
at the University of Cape Town

Caught in the act II: Boomslang predation on Sabota Lark nest.

Derek Engelbrecht and Lucy Mashao

It is well known that ground nesting birds suffer heavy nest losses. Predation is usually invoked as the main cause of breeding failure, but the identity of the predator is often a matter of conjecture. It is rather surprising that such an important aspect of the breeding ecology of birds is often reduced to one or two sentences speculating about the identity of the perpetrator. Since the 1990’s technological advances in camera technology has provided ecologists with the opportunity to study nesting behaviour and predation free from biases associated with opportunistic field observations, e.g. time of day or detectability of predators (Ribic et al. 2012)....

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