Nesting of Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole on a Moroccan coastal wetland

El Malki, S., Hanane, S. Joulami, L. & El Hamoumi, R. 2013. Nesting performance of the Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole on a Moroccan coastal wetland: a comparison between natural and artificial habitats. Wader Study Group Bulletin 120 (1): 47–52.
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In 2011, we investigated the breeding performance of two wader species, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus and Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola in a natural habitat, marshes, and in an artificial one, salinas (saltpans), in the Sidi Moussa-Walidia wetland complex on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Data on nest-placement, clutch-size, egg-dimensions, nest-density, egg-laying chronology and hatching-success were collected from 117 nests: 31 of Black-winged Stilt (25 in marshes and 6 in salinas) and 86 of Collared Pratincole (36 in marshes and 50 in salinas). The results show no consistent differences in nest-density, clutch-size, egg-dimensions or nesting success between the two habitats. However, in both habitat types and species, variations were found in the distribution of nest initiation over the breeding season. Both habitats appeared to provide similar nesting conditions for Black-winged Stilts and Collared Pratincoles. Nonetheless, further research is needed to determine the combined effects of human disturbances and local predators on nest site selection and reproductive performance on these species in the two habitats. These studies will also facilitate management decisions aimed at maximising both gains to avian biodiversity and enhancing the welfare of people.

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