In an age when efficiency and maximum productivity are essential to success in farming, the tendency is to eliminate everything that competes with the primary aim of the agriculturist.
Wildlife is one of the factors that may be considered in need of elimination on intensive farms if it interferes with crop production. Fortunately, many farmers are prepared to forgo some of their prospects in order to have wildlife on their land.
It is, indeed, the case that problems between farming and wildlife do arise, and Swainson’s francolin (Pternistis swainsonii) is an example.
In recent years the Swainson’s francolin population has greatly increased, particularly in the maize areas of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Farmers have come to regard the bird as a pest because of its destruction of young, recently sprouted maize. On the other hand, hunters have followed the prodigious increase of this francolin with great interest and enthusiasm, believing that here exists a vast potential for the shotgun sportsperson. An examination of the problem in this article is aimed at giving some facts on which the interested landowners may base their policies.
THE SWAINSON’S FRANCOLIN
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