Population status and activity pattern of hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) in Lake Hora-Arsedi, Bishoftu, Ethiopia
A study on the population status and activity pattern of hamerkop (Scopus umbretta) was carried out along the shore of Lake Hora-Arsedi, Bishoftu, Ethiopia. Data were collected during the wet and dry seasons during 2013/2014. Point count method was used to study the population status. Repeated observations and focal animal sampling methods were used to study the activity patterns. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and results were compared with Chi-square test and one way ANOVA. The difference in the total number of hamerkops counted during the dry and wet seasons was not statistically significant (χ2=3.56, p=0.059). The species preferred fish scraps particularly the head parts discarded by fishermen. Resting (47.5%) was the most important diurnal activity, followed by scanning (20.7%) and feeding (13%) whereas calling and mounting was the minimum activity recorded during the study period. Feeding activity reached its peak (16.4%) during late afternoon (15:00–18:00) and lowest (6%) during mid-day (12:00–15:00). Resting and scanning were the commonly frequented behaviour in all the time blocks. Further ecological studies on hamerkop should be conducted to get additional information and facilitate conservation measures in the study area.
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