Nesting success of Sharpe’s Longclaw (Macronyx sharpei Jackson, 1904) around the grasslands of lake Ol’bolossat Nyandarua, Kenya

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Risper Ann Hamisi
Charles M. Warui
Peter Njoroge


Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei is an endangered Kenyan endemic bird restricted to high-altitude grasslands with long tussocks. The species occurs on the grasslands surrounding Lake Ol’Bolossat in Nyandarua, Kenya, an area that is globally recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. The grasslands receive little conservation measures, which have led to the decline in the population density of Sharpe’s Longclaw. Nesting success in birds is crucial for their population growth. The daily survival rate for natural nests of Sharpe’s Longclaw in the grasslands of Lake Ol’Bolossat had not been systematically assessed prior to this study. Natural nests were actively searched during the breeding seasons of March–May 2016, while artificial nests were constructed using dry grass containing artificial eggs made of cream modeling clay. Natural nests had a higher daily nest survival percentage than artificial nests. The highest daily nest survival rate was 40% and the lowest 0.01%. Predators, livestock grazing and fires greatly reduced the survival of nestlings. We recommend intensive ecological management of the high-altitude grasslands of Lake Ol’Bolossat.

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