The Relevance of Francolin Vocalization in Local Time Indication in Mamfe Municipality, Southwest Region, Cameroon

Melle Ekane Maurice


Avian vocalizations can have intra-specific and inter-specific functions such as communication alarm, resource location, pair-bond maintenance, territory defense, and mate attraction. Majority of studies have focused on the diurnal vocalization of birds. Very little research has been done on nocturnal vocalization behavior of birds such as francolins in Cameroon. For this reason, this study was aimed at assessing the importance of francolin vocalization in local time indication to the inhabitants of Mamfe municipality. The data collection method of this study comprised of random spot sampling of the francolin number, recording vocalizations in the dawn and dusk, and visiting the francolin nesting sites. Surveys were conducted 5 days per week, from Monday to Friday for a period of one month. In the dawn, call recording started 7:00am and ended 5:00pm, while in the dusk it started 7:00 pm and ended 6:00am. This study revealed a significant association between francolin number and the day-period, χ2 = 19.219 df=6 P=0.004. Vocalization time and frequency showed a significant link, χ2 = 6.834 df=8 P<0.05. Similar results were obtained from the association of bird number and vocalization frequency, χ2 = 21.294 df=4 P=0.000. The bird number was proportionate to call frequency and intensity, 5 birds and above generated a call frequency of 64.79%. The day-period and bird number associated significantly, χ2 = 51.278 df=44 P<0.05. Additionally, cropland vegetation showed a significant correlation on bird number, r = 0.244 P<0.05. Furthermore, the bird group-size witnessed an influence on the call location, with more calls from cropland (70.42%) than the forest vegetation (29.58%). The consistent vocalization frequency during the early hours of the morning period is useful to the local inhabitants of the municipality. Almost all the local crop-farmers interviewed acknowledged that the francolin vocalization were time-specific, hence, reminding them upon the preparation of early morning farming engagements. Moreover, it is believed in most part of Cameroon, especially in remote communities that the francolin vocalizations help to wake up local farmers from sleep during the early of the day. However, the declining population of this bird species raises many questions on its conservation.

Keywords: Francolin vocalization, Communication alarm, Bird number, Cropland vegetation

DOI: 10.7176/CER/12-9-03

Publication date:September 30th 2020

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