Grzegorz Kopij

Population development of three sympatric dove species in African acacia savanna following a drought

Abstract The breeding densities of three dove species: Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis, Ring-necked Dove Streptopelia capicola, and Mourning Collared Dove Streptopelia decipiens were studied by means of the territory mapping method in 400 ha of acacia savanna in northern Namibia. About half of the study area comprised cultivated fields, orchards, sport fields and human settlements. The study was conducted in February–June 2020, after a prolonged drought in 2017–2019. During the drought, most doves vacated their territories and ceased to breed, but breeding populations recovered rapidly. The overall population density of all species was the highest in February/March (30.3 pairs / 100 ha), intermediate in April (27.8), and lowest in May/June (23.5). Population densities were higher in the man-modified than in natural savanna. While the population densities in natural savanna significantly increased with the advance of the dry season, in man-modified savanna the densities decreased slightly.


Keywords Population densities; Spilopelia senegalensis; Streptopelia capicola; Streptopelia decipiens

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