Spanò, S., Pellegrino, I., & Borgo, E. (2013). On the systematic status of the Cyrenaic Partridge (Alectoris barbata Reichenow, 1896). Avocetta 37: 145-148.
PDF from CISO – Centro Italiano Studi Ornitologici
Some considerations on the morphological features that differentiate Alectoris barbara barbata from A. b. barbara are exposed, and are also reported the results of a genetic investigation performed on historical specimens. Results showed a considerable genetic distance (0.06), certainly enough to consider it an ESU (Evolutionary Significant Unit), but most likely a separate species.
Cyrenaic Partridge – Alectoris (barbara) barbata – حجل برقة
Monti, F., Nibani, H., Dominici, J.M., Idrissi, H.R., Thévenet, M., Beaubrun, P.C. & Duriez, O. (2013). The vulnerable Osprey breeding population of the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco: present status and threats. Ostrich 84(3): 199–204.
In the Mediterranean, most areas belonging to the initial distribution range of the Osprey Pandion haliaetus have been lost and local populations have disappeared in recent decades because of persecution. Even though direct management actions have allowed local partial recovery, the Mediterranean population currently only holds a few tens of breeding pairs and is still exposed to local extinction risks. One of the last Mediterranean Osprey breeding areas lies along the North African coast between Morocco and Algeria. In this paper, we report new information on the Osprey population within the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco. The status of the population for 2012 and 2013 is reported and compared with data collected during the period 1983–1990. A reduction in number of nests and breeding pairs was observed and a 35.7% decrease in the population size recorded. In addition, we discuss the main identified threats to Osprey habitats (e.g. dynamite and poison fishing) that affect the Osprey breeding population in this area. In this context, we stress the necessity for urgent measures to be adopted at the local scale for the protection of this vulnerable population in the light of a sound conservation strategy also at the scale of the Mediterranean.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) at Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco (photo: A. El Idrissi Essougrati).
Articles about Mediterranean raptors:
Découverte de la plus importante colonie algérienne du Faucon d’Éléonore Falco eleonorae.
Breeding biology of Eleonora’s Falcon, Falco eleonorae Gené, 1839 (Accipitriformes Falconidae), in Northeast Algeria at Sérigina Island.
Panuccio, M., Agostini, N., Mellone, U., & Bogliani, G. (2014). Circannual variation in movement patterns of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans migrans): a review. Ethology Ecology & Evolution 26: 1-18. DOI:10.1080/03949370.2013.812147
PDF in ResearchGate.net
The nominal subspecies of the Black Kite is a summer resident in Europe and Asia that winters mostly in western Africa, although numbers of birds wintering in the Mediterranean area are increasing. During migrations, tens of thousands are observed migrating through the Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco, along the eastern side of the Black Sea, and in the Middle East, while substantial numbers cross the central Mediterranean and the Bosphorus. This paper provides a review of research concerning migration and its relationship with foraging behaviour in a circannual perspective. In particular, research made both by satellite tracking and by visual observations suggests a more evident time-selected migration during autumn rather than spring. Moreover, differences in timing occurring among different flyways could be explained either by different rates of intra-specific competition in areas with different breeding density and/or by different distances between wintering and breeding grounds.
Flyways used by Black Kites (Milvus migrans migrans) during autumn migration (see the paper for details)
Metallaoui, S., Maazi, M.C., Saheb, M., Houhamdi, M., & Barbraud, C. (2014). A comparative study of the diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) during the wintering season at Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Algerian highlands). Turkish Journal of Zoology 38: 158-167. doi:10.3906/zoo-1212-1 PDF
The rhythms of the Northern Shoveler’s (Anas clypeata Linnaeus, 1758) activities during its wintering period in 2 wetlands, Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands), were studied during 2 wintering seasons in Garaet Hadj-Tahar from November 2007 to March 2008 and November 2008 to March 2009, and in the Timerganine wetland from November 2007 to March 2008. They were linked to certain spatiotemporal variables, i.e. daytime activities and 2 different wetlands. During the wintering season, the main activity at Garaet Hadj-Tahar was sleeping (70%), followed by swimming (12%). By contrast, feeding was the dominant activity at Garaet Timerganine, occurring 45% of the total monitoring time, followed by sleeping (35%). The frequency of the behaviours did not differ significantly between the sites as a function of the date (P > 0.05). The choice of the site was made according to either the feeding resources or the resting place. These factors are therefore essential and highlight the importance of the protection of the sites where the species is concentrated outside of the breeding period.
Garaet Hadj-Tahar, Skikda, North-East Algeria (S. Metallaoui et al.)
Garaet Timerganine, Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands (S. Metallaoui et al.)
Hanane, S. (2013). Importance des reboisements en pins pour les oiseaux forestiers nicheurs: Cas du Pigeon ramier dans une plantation de pin d’Alep au Moyen Atlas central (Maroc). Forêt méditerranéenne 34(3): 209–214.
The importance of reforestation with pine for birds nesting in woodlands – Case of the Woodpigeon in an Aleppo pine plantation in the Central Middle Atlas area (Morocco).
Le Maroc s’est employé à intensifier et étendre les plantations à but de production de bois ; une nécessité vitale pour l’économie nationale. Le Plan directeur des reboisements (PDR) a prévu donc le reboisement de près de 500 000 ha en dix ans. Conciliant production et naturalité, la plantation de pin d’Alep (Pinus halepensis) de Tighboula, joue un important rôle environnemental au Moyen Atlas central, en prodiguant des sites favorables pour la nidification d’un oiseau gibier, le pigeon ramier (Columba palumbus). Les paramètres de reproduction récoltés [densité des nids: 3,4 ± 0,20 nids/ha, densité des couples: 21 ± 1 couples/5 ha, taille de ponte: 2,09 ± 0,31 œufs/nid et succès de reproduction: 61,7%] affichent des valeurs assez grandes, témoignant de la qualité de ce milieu artificiel forestier. L’initiation d’autres études sur d’autres périmètres de reboisement en pins est primordiale pour évaluer leur importance à une échelle spatiale beaucoup plus grande.
Effects of human disturbance on nest placement of the Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus): A case study from the Middle Atlas, Morocco.
Pigeon ramier (Columba palumbus)
Touati, L., & Samraoui, B. (2013). Diversity and distribution of avian lice on Greater Flamingo chicks (Phoenicopterus roseus) in Algeria. Avian Biology Research 6(4): 261–268. doi:10.3184/175815513X13802162326884
PDF in ResearchGate.net
The ecological diversity and distribution of ectoparasites on Greater Flamingo chicks (Phoenicopterus roseus) were investigated in Algeria at two distinct sites: Ezzemoul (Hauts Plateaux) and Safioune (Sahara) at the end of the breeding seasons of 2009 and 2011. Results from the first records for the Greater Flamingo in North Africa, indicate that they were infested by the following louse species: Colpocephalum hetcrosoma Piaget and Triniton fernoratum Piaget (Menoponidae); Anatiztola phoenicopteri (Coinde) and Anatoecus pygaspis Nitzsch (Philopteridae). These data support the hypothesis of a connectivity of the Greater Flamingo metapopulation across the Mediterranean region. The results also suggest that there was a spatial segregation in the distribution of the various louse species across distinct body parts of their hosts. Adaptive explanations for this niche partitioning are suggested.
Views of the Greater Flamingo colony at Ezzemoul, Hauts Plateaux, northeast Algeria (Boudjéma Samraoui)
Views of the Greater Flamingo colony at Safioune, northeastern Algerian Sahara (Boudjéma Samraoui)
Aberkane, M., Chettibi, F., Bakhouche, B., Draidi, K., Bouslama, Z. & Houhamdi, M. 2013. Breeding ecology of the Marbled Duck Marmaronetta angustirostris at Boussedra march (Annaba, Northeast of Algeria). Annals of Biological Research 4 (10): 103-107. PDF
Marbled duck Marmaronetta angustirostris (Anatidae) nested for three consecutive years (2011, 2012 and 2013) in the marais de Boussedra (North-East of Algeria): a much polluted site. Nests are built on Scolymus hispanicus and Innula graveloens (Asteraceae). In water, the nests are built in clusters of Typha angustifolia (Typhaceae). Nesting occurs between mid-May and mid-June of each year. The eggs have a mean weight of 32.61g and a volume of 26.51 cm3. The hatching rate recorded is 40.40% and the causes of failure are many and the most important are predation by the White Stork Ciconia ciconia, the rodents and the dogs.
Chicks of the Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris) after hatching (M. Abdekane)