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Strategic interdisciplinary approach for non-lethal pigeon control on the University of South Africa's Mukleneuk campus

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dc.contributor.advisor Wilson, A.
dc.contributor.advisor De Crom, E. P. Harris, Emma 2017-03-20T09:04:12Z 2017-03-20T09:04:12Z 2016-08
dc.identifier.citation Harris, Emma (2016) Strategic interdisciplinary approach for non-lethal pigeon control on the University of South Africa's Mukleneuk campus, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <> en
dc.description.abstract Often perceived as pests, pigeon control is applied without investigating environmental, ecological and anthropogenic factors which affect their populations and response to controls. Estate Management of the University of South Africa’s Muckleneuk campus identified a need to investigate and address a perceived pigeon problem. Staff perceptions regarding the presence and attitude towards control of the pigeons was undertaken through an online Survey Monkey questionnaire and semi- structured interviews until saturation was achieved. It was determined that the a s sumed negative perception towards the pigeons was in fact incorrect. Participants would rather encourage the nesting and breeding activities of pigeons on campus, as they felt that the human–pigeon interactions and viewing of squabs in nests contributed positively to their work environment. Participants did not consider the pigeons or their related activities to pose a problem. It was felt that should control be imposed, the birds should rather be humanely managed through non-lethal measures rather than eradication. Pigeon numbers on five buildings on the University’s campus were counted at dawn and dusk, every week, for two years. The first year provided baseline data and the second year was when control measures were applied. The study determined that the pigeon population index fluctuated seasonally while breeding occurred throughout the year, with notable peaks and declines relating to physiological and population dynamics. The pigeons seemed to make opportunistic use of crop availability in surrounding farmlands during optimal production periods, while conserving energy when not favourable. Site selection in relation to building aspect indicated significant differences in all the seasons except for winter, while a positive significant relationship between level height and pigeon number was recorded. Once the control measures were applied, the total pigeon index on the campus declined by 50%. Control structures differed significantly in efficacy. Bird spikes indicated the highest efficacy at reducing the pigeon population index and seasonality did influence this efficiency. Birds of prey and an audio bird scarer were used to compare actual versus implied predator presence, it was determined that there was an association between method of scaring and the number of pigeons observed on the different time periods. Pigeons were observed to continue the natural trend of dispersion and return at the dawn and dusk counts during the audio bird scarer trial without being actively discouraged or dislodged from the building. Pigeons reacted positively to the visual raptor presence, which caused them to take flight from the buildings. The visual effect was only temporary however as pigeons returned once the threat had been removed 10 minutes post scare. The studies concluded in an interdisciplinary management plan presented to the University Estates. en
dc.format.extent 1 online resource (xiii, 448 leaves) : illustrations (chiefly color), maps en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Pigeon control en
dc.subject Non-lethal en
dc.subject Humane en
dc.subject Bird spikes en
dc.subject Eagle EyesTM en
dc.subject Fire Flags en
dc.subject Birds of prey en
dc.subject BirdXPeller PROTM en
dc.subject Public perceptions en
dc.subject Green university en
dc.subject.ddc 598.650968227
dc.subject.lcsh Pigeons -- Breeding -- South Africa -- Pretoria en
dc.subject.lcsh Bird pests -- South Africa -- Pretoria
dc.subject.lcsh Pigeons -- South Africa -- Pretoria
dc.subject.lcsh Pigeons -- Control -- Environmental aspects
dc.title Strategic interdisciplinary approach for non-lethal pigeon control on the University of South Africa's Mukleneuk campus en
dc.type Dissertation en
dc.description.department Environmental Science en M. Sc. (Environmental Science)

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    Electronic versions of theses and dissertations submitted to Unisa since 2003

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