4th Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) for Tunisia found at Djerba, Gulf of Gabes

A Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) was found at Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia) on the 5th January 2015 by Italian ornithologists Andrea Corso and Michele Viganò and observed also by Loris Golinelli  and Chiara Sibona from Italy and Leslie Parks from the US. This is the 4th record for Tunisia.

Un Pluvier fauve (Pluvialis fulva) a été observé à Djerba, dans le golfe de Gabès (Tunisie) le 5 janvier 2015 par les ornithologues italiens Andrea Corso et Michele Viganò et observé aussi par un groupe de bird-watcheurs (voir ci-dessus). C’est la 4ème observation pour la Tunisie de cette espèce rare qui se reproduit au Nord et l’Est de la Russie et l’Ouest de l’Alaska.

Andrea kindly sent us this observation along with the excellent photographs of the bird that Michele took. The following is the email of Andrea:

“Hello my friend

I am a true lover of N African birds and fauna and I visit Tunisia, Morocco, Sinai every year 2 to 5 times.

So, I send here with photos of the 4th Tunisia Pacific Golden Plover, I found with Michele Viganò (who made these photos for the documentation) at Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabès, on 5th January 2015. You may like to put them on line on your wonderful webpage that I like so much !!

In Tunisia, previous records were:

1) Killed on 7 November 1915 at Sousse (Blanchiet 1955)

2) Observed on 24 February 1999 at Mahras / Sfax (Aye & Roth 2001);

3) On 29 February 2004 again at Mahras / Sfax.

Thanks to my friend Ridha Ouni”.

Many thanks to Andrea Corso for sending this record and for his kind words, and to Michele Viganò for the excellent set of photographs and also to their friend Ridha Ouni and to the rest of the group.

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva), Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabes, Tunisia (photo: Michele Viganò).

Les colonies de Faucon d’Eléonore (Falco eleonorae) du Maghreb (Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie)

Avec la découverte récente d’une importante colonie du Faucon d’Eléonore (Falco eleonorae) dans le littoral oranais, l’étude de la colonie de l’île Sérigina (Algérie), et le suivi de la population de l’archipel d’Essaouira (Maroc), la connaissance sur cette espèce emblématique dans notre région a beaucoup améliorée. Nous résumons ici toutes les colonies de reproduction connues de Faucon d’Eléonore dans les trois pays du Maghreb (Algérie, Maroc et Tunisie), et la dernière estimation du nombre de couples reproducteurs dans chaque site sera cité (si mentionné dans la source):

The colonies of Eleonora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae) in the Maghreb: With the recent discovery of a large colony of Eleonora’s Falcon in the Oran coast, the study of the colony at Serigina Island (Algeria), and monitoring of the Essaouira archipelago population (Morocco), knowledge about this iconic species in our region has much improved. We summarise here all known breeding colonies of Eleonora’s Falcon in the three Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia), and the last estimation of the number of breeding pairs in each site will also be cited (if mentioned in the source):

Algérie:

  • Île Rachgoun (Aïn Temouchent): la taille de la population n’est pas indiquée (Samraoui et al. 2011).

  • Îles Habibas (Oran): 30 couples reproducteurs (Initiative PIM in Rguibi et al. 2011).

  • Île Ronde, côtes d’Oran: au moins 70 couples reproducteurs (Peyre et al. 2014).

  • Est de Tigzirt (Tizi Ouzou): la taille de la population n’pas indiquée mais très petite (Isenmann & Moali 2000).

  • Île Sérigina (Skikda): 20 couples reproducteurs (Telailia et al. 2013).

  • Kef Amor (Chetaïbi, Annaba): la taille de la population n’est pas indiquée (Samraoui et al. 2011).

Maroc (côte atlantique):

  • Archipel de Mogador (Essaouira): 907 couples reproducteurs (GREPOM & Initiative PIM 2014).

  • Falaises de Sidi Moussa (Salé): 14 couples reproducteurs (Rguibi et al. 2011).

Tunisie:

  • Archipel de La Galite (Bizerte): 150-180 couples reproducteurs (Ouni 2013).

  • Îles Fratelli (Bizerte): 40-52 couples reproducteurs (Ouni 2013).

References:

  • Isenmann, P. & Moali, A. 2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria. SEOF, Paris.

Exactly the same report in English is here:
Rguibi, H., Qninba, A. & Benhoussa, A. 2012. Eleonora’s Falcon, Falco eleonorae, Updated state of knowledge and conservation of the nesting populations of the Mediterranean Small Islands. Initiative PIM. 19 p.

Hivernage de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) à Oglat Edaïra, Algérie

L’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) est une espèce classée en danger d’extinction dans la liste rouge de l’IUCN. En Algérie, l’espèce ne se reproduit que dans quelques sites et hivernent dans environ 14 sites dans différentes régions.

L’espèce a été observée en hivernage à Oglat Edaïra, Wilaya de Nâama. C’est la première fois! Ni la “Fiche descriptive sur les zones humides Ramsar” relative au site, ni l’étude de l’équipe de Samraoui (Samraoui & Samraoui 2008; Samraoui et al. 2011) cite l’Érismature à tête blanche comme hivernante dans le site.

La zone humide Oglat Edaïra, connue aussi sous le nom de “Lac de Aïn Ben Khelil” est un lac saumâtre et saisonnier situé à 30 km au sud-ouest de la ville de Nâama.

Références (PDFs in ResearchGate.net):

Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A.H., Al-Rasheid, K.A.S. & Samraoui, B. (2011). An appraisal of the status and distribution of waterbirds of Algeria: indicators of global changes? Ardeola 58: 137–163.

Samraoui, B., & Samraoui, F. (2008). An ornithological survey of Algerian wetlands: Important Bird Areas, Ramsar sites and threatened species. Wildfowl 58: 71–98.

Abdelkader Allali (Conservation des forets de Batna).

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala)

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Oglat Edaïra, Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma, Algérie. (photo: Abdelkader Allali).

Oglat Edaïra, Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma

Oglat Edaïra, 3 Km de la commune de Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma.

Diet of the Coot (Fulica atra) in the nature reserve of Lake Réghaïa, Algeria

Metna, F., Lardjane-Hamiti, A., Boukhemza-Zemmouri, N., Boukhemza, M., Merabet, S. & Abba, R. (2015). Diet of the Coot Fulica atra (Aves, Rallidae) in the nature reserve of Lake Réghaïa (Algiers, Algeria). Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 34–45. doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.994363

Abstract:

The study of the Coot’s (Fulica atra) diet was carried out from February 2010 to January 2012 in the nature reserve of Lake Réghaïa in the eastern part of Algeria. For that purpose, a total of 600 faecal samples, or 300 faecal samples per year, were analysed. The analysis showed that the bird’s food spectrum primarily consists of plant species, animal prey being very rare. Overall, 34 plant species belonging to 17 families and 18 animal species were identified. Thirty plant species belonging to 15 families were identified during the first study period (February 2010–January 2011) and 32 plant species belonging to 17 families were identified during the second study period (February 2011–January 2012). The relative abundance of Poaceae family plants in the Coot’s diet was estimated at 65.1% and that of Cyperaceae and Typhaceae at 7.3 and 4%, respectively. The share of other plant families in the bird’s diet was found to be negligible. The proportion of animal prey in the diet represents 3.1%. Among plants of the Poaceae family, the most favoured are the following three species Paspalum distichum, Phragmites sp. and Panicum repens with rates of 33.2, 18.6 and 15.7%, respectively. The intake of other taxa was lower. Dietary variations during the year coincided with changes in local availability of food and species phenology.

Common Coot - Foulque macroule (Fulica atra)

Common Coot – Foulque macroule (Fulica atra), at nest (photo: Mohamed Missoum).

Dans le même site:

Lardjane-Hamiti, A., Metna, F., Sayaud, M.-S., Guelmi, M., Boukhemza, M. & Houhamdi, M. 2012. Le Fuligule milouin Aythya ferina nicheur dans la réserve naturelle du Lac de Réghaia (Alger, Algérie). Alauda 80: 151–152..

Post-release monitoring of Double-spurred Francolin (Francolinus bicalcaratus ayesha) in Morocco

Hanane, S. & Qninba, A. (2014). Post-release monitoring of a critically endangered galliform subspecies, Francolinus bicalcaratus ayesha, in Morocco: a field study using playback call counts. Zoology and Ecology 24: 332–338.  doi: 10.1080/21658005.2014.981431
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The Double-spurred Francolin Francolinus bicalcaratus ayesha is a critically endangered galliform subspecies in Morocco. To improve the viability of this threatened population, 300 captive-bred francolins were released into the Didactic Lot of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Hunting, and post-release monitoring was conducted. In this study, we used playback call counts to assess differences in habitat use and temporal variations in vocal activity of Double-spurred Francolins. The number of male calls per point count was significantly higher in the wooden matorral (WM) than in the non-wooden matorral (MT). The male responses per point count also increased depending on date, reaching a maximum in the first 10 days of March. The pattern was similar in the two habitats, although the maximum average call rates were significantly different [WM = 1.575 (95% CI: 1.394–1.780), MT = 0.481 (95% CI: 0.393–0.589)]. We suggest that call counts collected during this period could be used to index the annual change of the released population in that area. Further researches are, however, needed to (1) estimate the current population size of the released francolins and (2) characterize the habitats used within this protected area.

Double-spurred Francolin - Francolin à double éperon (Pternistis bicalcaratus ayesha)

Double-spurred Francolin – Francolin à double éperon (Pternistis bicalcaratus ayesha), Morocco. (photo: Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc, GREPOM)

Monitoring Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns (Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus) in Libya

RAC/SPA-UNEP/MAP, 2014. Monitoring Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus. By Baccetti N. and Zenatello M. (Ed.), RAC.SPA, Tunis. 26p + Appendices. PDF

Summary:

The Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns, Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus, is a Mediterranean endemic seabird, potentially vulnerable to many sources of threat. In 2012, within the framework of the MedMPAnet Project, a study was conducted on this species in Libya, especially in Garah, a potential future MPA where the largest fraction of the seabird global population is concentrated.

Actions and methods are described to monitor the breeding population of the Mediterranean Lesser Crested Tern, which is currently confined to Libya. The aim is providing a tool which will allow a coherent and safe approach to a population of extremely high conservation value, which is potentially vulnerable to many sources of threat, not least monitoring itself.

Assessing changes in population size, distribution and breeding success is crucial for conservation. We attempted to gather recent experiences carried out under the RAC-SPA umbrella to produce a document available for further sharing, that may ensure a correct continuation of activities in the next future. The monitoring guide of the Mediterranean Lesser Crested Tern population is now available on-line at the RAC-SPA website.

 Adult Mediterranean Lesser Crested Tern (Thalasseus bengalensis emigrates) and ringed juvenile at Garah, Libya

Adult Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns (Thalasseus bengalensis emigrates) and ringed juvenile (c. 10 days old) at Garah, Libya. (photo: J. Sultana).

Breeding colony of the Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns (Thalasseus bengalensis emigrates) at Garah, Libya

Breeding colony of the Mediterranean Lesser Crested Terns (Thalasseus bengalensis emigrates) at Garah, Libya. (photo: J. Sultana).

5 Nettes rousses (Netta rufina) au Barrage Chiba, Cap Bon (Tunisie)

Cinq Nettes rousses (Netta rufina), 3 mâles et 2 femelles, ont été observées au Barrage Chiba au Cap Bon (Tunisie) le 14 janvier 2015 lors de la campagne de recensement hivernal des oiseaux d’eau. La Nette rousse est une hivernante rare en Tunisie.

Five Red-crested Pochards (Netta rufina), 3 males and 2 females, were observed in Chiba Reservoir, Cap Bon (Tunisia) during this winter waterbirds census on 14 January 2015. The Red-crested Pochard is a rare wintering visitor in Tunisia.

Mohamed Ali Dakhli / Birding Tunisia.

Hichem Azafzaf (Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux”, AAO) a aussi observé l’espèce dans le même site et voici leur commentaire:

“Durant la campagne de recensement des oiseaux d’eau hivernants en Tunisie cette année, j’ai pu observer au Barrage Chiba (Gouvernorat de Nabeul) deux mâles de Nette rousse (Netta rufina), espèce considérée comme hivernante rare en Tunisie.

During the Mid-winter Waterbird Census in Tunisia this year, I have observed in the Chiba dam reservoir (Governorate of Nabeul) two males Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), a species considered to be rarely wintering in Tunisia”.

Nette rousse (Netta rufina), Cap-Bon, Tunisie

Nette rousse – Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Barrage Chiba, Cap Bon, Tunisie, 14 janvier 2015. (photo: Mohamed Ali Dakhli / Birding Tunisia).

Red-crested Pochard - Nette rousse (Netta rufina)

2 males Red-crested Pochard – Nette rousse (Netta rufina), Barrage Chiba, Governorate of Nabeul (= Cap Bon), Tunisia, January 2015. (photo: Hichem Azafzaf / Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux”, AAO).