Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

October 1973


Large scale grain growing schemes are developing rapidly in Africa and the importance of birds as pests becomes more evident each year. Although the potential production of cereals is quite high in some parts of Africa, effective methods for protecting the new schemes from bird damage will have to be developed if their food raising potential is to be realized. The best known of the avian pests of cereals in Africa is Quelea quelea. In addition to their importance as pests their notoriety is due to their intensely gregarious nature. The cloudlike feeding swarms and dense nesting colonies with millions of nests are a sight never to be forgotten. Although Quelea often ignore crops and feed on the seeds of wild grasses they are a constant threat and at times when their natural foods are scarce they may cause spectacular damage to domestic grains.