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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Eradication of Invasive House Crow (Corvus splendens) from Socotra Island, Republic of Yemen – Lessons Learned from 15 Years of Facing a Bird Invasion


The house crow is one of the most invasive bird species in the world, affecting more than 25 nations around the Indian Ocean, Arabian Peninsula, and Southeast Asia. It causes problems for development, public hygiene, biodiversity, tourism, and traffic. House crows arrived in 1995 on Socotra Island, Yemen Republic, coming from mainland Yemen by ship. Socotra Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, having a unique ecosystem with a larger number of endemic species. Ongoing management did not achieve eradication of the species for more than a decade; however, it kept numbers of the breeding population low. The last 13 birds were finally eradicated in April 2009, thanks to techniques and experienced personnel from abroad and support by the Small Grant Programme of the Global Environmental Facility. More vigilance in dealing with this species, as well as a better transfer of international knowledge to local managers, are required to tackle problems caused by invasive house crows in the affected regions.

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