Date of this Version
Research into the biology and control of pest birds in Somalia has continued intermittently since 1971 under UNDP funding of four projects. Data have been gathered on the identification, distribution, and status of the principal pest species to agriculture. These species include the Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea), of which northern and southern races occur, and several other ploceid weavers (Ploceus spp.) which may damage cereal crops. The movements, food habits, and corresponding impact of these species on agriculture in Somalia are discussed in detail. As a result of the information obtained during these years of research, emphasis has recently shifted to developing the indirect control capacity of the Bird Control Unit and evaluating methods for directly protecting a crop. Scouting teams for locating concentrations of pest birds have been organized and initial control operations undertaken. Trials of frightening and scaring devices and techniques, physical barriers, and chemical repellents have been evaluated, but only on a limited scale and with variable results. The whole arena of managing bird pests is new in Somalia and progressing slowly. However, the necessary framework is being established upon which a crop protection strategy, integrating methods of indirect and direct control, can be implemented.