Density, laying date, breeding success and diet of Black Kites Milvus migrans govinda in the city of Delhi (India)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2014
Authors:Kumar, N, Mohan, D, Jhala, YV, Qureshi, Q, Sergio, F
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:61
Issue:1
Date Published:2014
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Accipitridae, India, Milvus, Milvus korschun, Milvus migrans, World
Abstract:Capsule The density of Black Kites in Delhi, India, may represent the highest concentration of a raptor recorded in the world and has not declined since the 1960s.Aims To estimate the density, phenology, breeding success and diet of Black Kites in Delhi.Methods During 2013, Black Kite nests were surveyed in 24 plots of 1?km2 distributed throughout Delhi. A sample of 151 nests was checked regularly to record laying date, breeding success and diet.Results The average density was 15?nests/km2. The majority of nests were on trees (91%) and the rest on artificial structures. Mean laying date was 31 January and the laying season was protracted over four months. Mean number of fledged young was 0.73, 1.09 and 1.53 per territorial, breeding and successful pair. Diet was dominated by scavenged meat and by rats, pigeons and doves abundant in the city.Conclusions Density has been stable since 1960?1970s and probably represents the highest ever recorded for a raptor. This is probably promoted by a combination of (i) availability of rubbish, (ii) few predators and (iii) high tolerance by people. The conservation status of this raptor seems satisfactory, but removal of mature trees for rapid development may result in local declines or re-distributions, suggesting the need for continued monitoring.Capsule The density of Black Kites in Delhi, India, may represent the highest concentration of a raptor recorded in the world and has not declined since the 1960s.Aims To estimate the density, phenology, breeding success and diet of Black Kites in Delhi.Methods During 2013, Black Kite nests were surveyed in 24 plots of 1?km2 distributed throughout Delhi. A sample of 151 nests was checked regularly to record laying date, breeding success and diet.Results The average density was 15?nests/km2. The majority of nests were on trees (91%) and the rest on artificial structures. Mean laying date was 31 January and the laying season was protracted over four months. Mean number of fledged young was 0.73, 1.09 and 1.53 per territorial, breeding and successful pair. Diet was dominated by scavenged meat and by rats, pigeons and doves abundant in the city.Conclusions Density has been stable since 1960?1970s and probably represents the highest ever recorded for a raptor. This is probably promoted by a combination of (i) availability of rubbish, (ii) few predators and (iii) high tolerance by people. The conservation status of this raptor seems satisfactory, but removal of mature trees for rapid development may result in local declines or re-distributions, suggesting the need for continued monitoring.
URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2013.876972
Short Title:Bird Study
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