Original Research

Prey manipulation in a grassland community at an inland airport in South Africa

A. C. Kok, O. B. Kok
Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie | Vol 21, No 4 | a238 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/satnt.v21i4.238 | © 2002 A. C. Kok, O. B. Kok | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2002 | Published: 28 September 2002

About the author(s)

A. C. Kok, Departement Dierkunde en Entomologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, South Africa
O. B. Kok, Departement Dierkunde en Entomologie, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, South Africa

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Abstract

Terrestrial invertebrates and very small vertebrates were collected using pitfall and mouse traps in undisturbed long grass and grass which were kept permanently short over a period of 15 months (March 1994 – May 1995) at the Bloemfontein airport. Numerically insects contributed more than 90% of the overall sample. Twice as many individuals occurred in short grass compared to those in the long grass. The available food source for predominantly insectivorous avifauna at inland airports can thus be effectively reduced (indirectly also bird numbers) by implementing a so-called long grass policy as a control strategy. A significant and sustainable decrease in harvester termite numbers and activities was accomplished by administering bait treated with Gaucho in disturbed grass areas. As an important component in the diet of birds in grassland communities, bird numbers, and hopefully also bird aircraft strikes, can thus be reduced.


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