Winter Distribution of Passerine Richness in the Maghreb (North Africa): A Conservation Assessment

Tellería, J. L., Fandos, G., López, J. F., Onrubia, A., & Refoyo, P. (2014). Winter Distribution of Passerine Richness in the Maghreb (North Africa): A Conservation Assessment. Ardeola 61: 335–350.  doi: 10.13157/arla.61.2.2014.335
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Summary:

This paper studies the factors affecting passerine (Order Passeriformes) species richness in the Western Maghreb, a region at the southwestern border of the Palearctic reputed as a primary wintering ground for many common European birds. The effect of productivity, temperature, landscape structure and geographical location on bird richness was explored at 220 localities across Morocco. The models resulting from multivariate analyses supported the effects of productivity, temperature and landscape cover on bird richness, with higher numbers of species occurring in warm farmlands of the northwest. The most suitable areas for birds avoided the cold and arid expanses of the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara and overlapped with the most human-impacted sectors. Within these areas, we detected an interspersed distribution of sectors of high bird richness and low human incidence. These sectors can be used as priority targets for conservation programmes of common birds during the winter.

Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) in the wetland complex of Oued Righ, Algerian Sahara

Nouidjem, Y., Saheb, M., Bensaci, E., Bouzegag, A., Guergueb, E.-Y. & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the wetland complex of Oued Righ (Algerian Sahara). Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 26–33. doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.997995
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Abstract:

Our study conducted from August 2007 to May 2011 in the main wetlands of the Oued Righ complex (Eastern Sahara of Algeria) aimed to study the habitat use and distribution pattern of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea. As the species was recorded breeding at most sites of the wetland complex, it was given the resident breeder status, which differs from the one it had previously. The maximum number of Ruddy Shelducks (284 individuals) was recorded each year during the winter season (second half of December). The Ruddy Shelduck (60% of population) shows preference for shallow middle-sized salt ponds with a high proportion of open water (e.g. Chott Tindla and Chott Sidi Slimane). No interannual variations were observed in habitat use; moreover, seasonal variations in the use of shallow salt pond habitat may be the outcome of hot and dry climate of this arid region.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Timgad, Batna, Algeria

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Timgad, (W. Batna), north-eastern Algeria. (photo: Raouf Guechi).

Phénologie de la reproduction du Merle noir (Turdus merula) dans une oasis septentrionale de l’Algérie

Adamou, A.-E., Tabibe, R., Kouidri, M., Ouakid, M.-L. & Houhamdi, M. (2014). Phénologie de la reproduction du Merle noir Turdus merula dans une oasis septentrionale de l’Algérie. Alauda 82 (3): 193-202.
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Résumé:

L’étude est réalisée entre 2007 et 2012 dans les palmeraies septentrionales de l’Algérie, sur la reproduction du Merle noir nicheur sur le palmier dattier. Les résultats montrent une faible variation des traits de vie entres les années d’études. La date, la grandeur de ponte et le succès de la reproduction ne sont pas variables avec les saisons de la reproduction. Par contre, les traits des œufs montrent une variation significative entre les années d’études. La hauteur des nids présente aussi cette variation, elle dépasse pour quelques nids les 7m. Selon ce gradient, les couples précoces installent leurs nids au plus haut et investissent moins dans les traits des œufs, et moins dans la grandeur de ponte. Cette dernière est relativement faible par rapport aux populations européennes. Par contre, les nids installés plus haut, compensent par un succès de reproduction plus élevé. La densité des nids indique une relation entre les oasis et les forêts limitrophes et suggère une analyse complémentaire du spectre alimentaire du merle noir dans cet habitat, qui permet de mieux comprendre les modalités de colonisation et de répartition biogéographique de cette espèce.

Abstract:

Breeding phenology of Common Blackbird in palm groves at an oasis in Algeria.

The study was carried out between 2007 and 2012 in the northern palms of Algeria, on the reproduction of Blackbird nesting on date palm. The results show a low variation of life history traits between the years of study. Breeding date, clutch size and reproductive success are not variable with the seasons of reproduction. However, the eggs measurements show a significant variation between years. Nest height also shows this variation, it exceeds the 7m for a few nests. According to this gradient, couples settle their early nests above and invest less in features eggs. However, nests installed above, offset by a higher reproductive success. Clutch size is relatively low compared to the European populations and nest density indicates a similarity between the oasis and the surrounding forests and suggests that further analysis of the spectrum blackbird food in this habitat, to better understand the colonization and the biogeographical distribution of this species.

Nid du Merle noir (Turdus merula) dans les palmeraies de Zibans (Biskra), piémont sud de l’Atlas saharien, Algérie

Nid du Merle noir (Turdus merula) dans les palmeraies de Zibans (Biskra), piémont sud de l’Atlas saharien, Algérie

Distribution patterns of ectoparasites of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) chicks

Touati, L., Figuerola, J., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2015). Distribution patterns of ectoparasites of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) chicks. Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 46–53. doi:10.1080/21658005.2015.1005447
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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to identify the ectoparasite community that may be found on the body of Glossy Ibis chicks Plegadis falcinellus in two Algerian wetlands, Chatt and Lake Fetzara, during the breeding season of 2010. Birds were parasitized by the following chewing lice (Phthiraptera: Amblycera, Ischnocera) species at both study sites: Plegadiphilus plegadis and Colpocephalum leptopygos (both Menoponidae), Ardeicola rhaphidius and Ibidoecus bisignatus (both Philopteridae). In addition, one tick (larva) Ixodes ricinus was also found at Lake Fetzara. All these ectoparasites were recorded in Algeria for the first time. Results showed that chewing lice varied in their spatial distribution at the infracommunity level with some species displaying no microhabitat preferences, whereas others confined themselves to specific body parts of their hosts. The recorded frequency pattern of chewing lice followed the negative binomial distribution.

Location map showing study sites (a), with an adult of Glossy Ibis (b), and the Glossy Ibis nest containing chicks and eggs (c)

Location map showing study sites (a), with an adult of Glossy Ibis (b), and the Glossy Ibis nest containing chicks and eggs (c).