They have absolutely no knowledge of the threat and nuisance
these birds pose to humans.
One would expect hoteliers from
the Kenya Coast to make serious efforts to help in the
elimination of these pests, but at the moment there is no
indication that a collective endeavour is underway nor is there
a real awareness that this bird is a threat to tourism.
From records I have received, it is has been revealed that
they are now inland, a lot further than Voi and can be seen at
Makindu—a mere 120 miles from Nairobi.
There was a time when experienced shotgun owners were keen in
helping to eliminate these birds.
However, shotgun cartridges are expensive and it is still
undisputed that the best way to get rid of these birds is either
with Starlicide or Diazinon.
Time is long
overdue to bring back the ‘Angamiza Kurabu’ exercise
The first sound one hears along the
Kenya coast before the break of dawn is the cawing of the Indian
House Crow (Corvus splendens).
It is now well over a half
century since this alien bird arrived along Kenya’sshores and
filled an ecological niche so successfully, that all the
indigenous birds have now completely disappeared.
No creature is as rapacious as this
Today’s generation of Kenyans assume
that this bird is endemic to this country.
Our song birds and a variety of
colourful birds such as weavers, rollers cordon bleu, orioles
and shrikes have all been wiped out.
Even birds of prey, particularly
falcons and kites are no match for this aggressive bird.
Resident birds have almost all been
wiped out from their natural habitat.
The resident pied crow too has
Some years ago a group of folks
decided to set up an operation they named ‘Angamiza Kurabu’ or
wipe out the crow.
This league of men consisted of
hoteliers, airline executives and individuals who sensed that
this bird was a major threat to beach hotels, and consequently
tourism among other things.
Because of its scavenging habits it is
also a carrier of diseases.
Among the “experts” chosen to
undertake this exercise was a well known tour operator and avian
expert who was assigned the job of poisoning these birds.
He was assisted by another individual
who was to be active in the field where garbage was regularly
dumped at a known site.
Here and in most locations, these
crows flocked in large numbers.
It was then considered that they could
be targeted effectively and completely wiped out or have their
numbers reduced to a manageable size.
Contributions came from various donors
who wanted an end to this menace.
It was considered that this was the
definitive way for coast people to be rid of this pest.
Surprisingly K.W.S. had no part in
this exercise, or showed any commitment from their side.
While pastoral tribes in Kenya are
given free reign to poison predators such as lions with Furadan,
a deadly poison which is residual and kills hundreds of vultures
as a consequence;
We were at that time told that the
importation of the specific poison for killing crows was not
Sadly, the project ended as abruptly
as it had begun.
Whatever happened to the funds and those who
had taken this responsibility?
Will this menace go on in perpetuity?
I can only hope that this menace will
cease to exist and that positive action will be taken despite
the lukewarm endeavours of those who launched the “Angamiza