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  • The impact of population management on urban and rural Hooded Crow populations

    Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), originally native to agricultural areas, has become widespread in urban areas in recent decades. However, this process has negative consequences on urban animals and humans. Due to these problems, the control of urban crow populations is needed. Crows also cause significant damage to wildlife management, and are constantly being controlled in rural areas as well. In this study, we compare rural and urban populations to find out whether hunting activities have a population reduction effect. In the rural population, the reduction is carried out by weapons and traps, while the urban crows are controlled using traps only. In both sample areas, crow nests were surveyed during the nesting period. 29 active nests were monitored in the rural area in 2021, and 39 in 2022. In the urban area, 44 nests were recorded in 2021 and 35 nests in 2022. In 2021, 30 individuals were removed in the rural area, and 84 in 2022. In the urban area, 223 individuals were removed in 2021 and 144 in 2022. Results show that the number of crows removed follows the number of active nests, so that the reduction of a given year is likely to have an effect on the following year's nesting population. Because traps mostly capture juvenile birds, reducing the breeding population in the city can only be achieved in the long-term. Considering this, it is likely that increased attention to population control can effectively maintain crow populations and reduce the problems they cause.

  • Does the Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) harbour vancomycin-resistant enterococci in Hungary?

    Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE) are high priority nosocomial bacteria with a potential for zoonotic transmission. Thus, its emergence outside health establishments is a major concern. In order to study the prevalence of VRE in wildlife, we collected 221 faecal samples from free-ranging Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix) from urban and rural habitats in Hungary, from March to August 2020. The screening for resistant enterococci was done using bile esculin azide (BEA) agar supplemented with Vancomycin, specific to the screening of VRE. None of the samples from either habitat types yielded VRE. It seems that Hooded Crows from Hungary do not necessarily constitute a reservoir of VREs at present. Nonetheless, a continuous surveillance of VRE in wildlife would be judicious.