Assessment of black crowned crane and wattled crane population and spatiotemporal distribution in Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia

Abebayehu Aticho*, Dessalegn Obsi Gemeda, Debela Hunde Feyssa, Dereje Bekele Jiru, Abebe Beyene, Dinberu Seyoum, Denyse J. Snelder, Gudina Legese Feyisa, Shimelis Aynalem, George Archibald, Tariku Mekonnen Gutema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The black crowned crane (Balearica pavonina) and wattled crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) are the vulnerable resident birds of Ethiopia. However, little is known about their current status, local distribution, and responses to anthropogenic effects and environmental change. This study assessed the population status, spatiotemporal distribution, and factors affecting a population of the two crane species at 18 wetland sites in Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia. The result shows, wetlands used by the cranes were classified as slope, riverine, depressional, and lake fringe based on topographic positions, landforms and hydrologic conditions. A total of 304 black crowned cranes and 30 wattled cranes were recorded at the wetland sites over the study period. Statistically, the population status of the two crane species were significantly (P <.01) varied among the wetland sites in the non-breeding season, whereas this was not true for the breeding season. Spatially the wattled crane population was varied significantly (P <.01) among wetland sites throughout the study period (2013 - 2017) when black crowned crane population was varied significantly (P <.01) in most years. Likely, variation in the temporal distribution of the black crowned crane population was significant (P =.001) for the study period where the distribution of wattled crane was significant for the third and final year. A regression analyses revealed the presence of multiple anthropogenic and environmental variables with significant influence on the crane population, including crane-inhabiting wetland proximity to other wetlands, wetland size, wetland buffer area ownership and use (P <.01). Generally, promising numbers of the black crowned crane and wattled crane are found in Jimma Zone. For better conservation impact, there is a need for improved spatial planning and policy support to control crane habitat fragmentation resulting from infrastructure and urban development, wetland drainage, and buffer area mismanagement.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00459
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Ecology and Conservation
Volume16
Early online date19 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Keywords

  • Balearica pavonina
  • Bugeranus carunculatus
  • Habitat degradation
  • Spatiotemporal change
  • Wetland

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