Taxonomic status of the Atlas Long-legged Buzzard revisited

Quote

A new study showed that ‘Atlas Long-legged Buzzard’ is composed of individuals with admixed genomes of Long-legged Buzzard (rufinus) and Common Buzzard (buteo + vulpinus), but with closer relationship with the latter. The study thus suggested that cirtensis should be treated as a subspecies of Common Buzzard.

La Buse du Maghreb n’est plus une Buse féroce mais une ……

via North African Buzzard is not a Long-legged but a Common Buzzard — MaghrebOrnitho

Premier Congrès Nord-Africain d’Ornithologie: appel aux communications

Le Laboratoire de Zoologie Appliquée et d’Écophysiologie Animale de l’Université de Béjaia (Algérie) organise le Premier Congrès Nord-Africain d’Ornithologie et le 4ème Colloque International d’Ornithologie Algérienne du 24 au 26 octobre 2017 à l’Université de Béjaia. Vous trouverez ici tous les détails de l’appel aux communications (Français).

Objectifs:

Après les éditions réussis de Batna (2006) d’Oum El-Bouaghi (2012) et de Guelma (2014). Le Laboratoire de Zoologie Appliquée et d’Ecophysiologie Animale de l’Université de Béjaia (Algérie), se propose d’organiser la 4éme édition du Colloque International d’Ornithologie Algérienne. Cette année et vu l’engouement de nos collègues Maghrébins pour les précédentes rencontres une dimension nord africaine est donnée à cette manifestation scientifique, avec l’organisation pour la première fois à l’échelle régionale du Premier Congrès Nord-Africain d’Ornithologie. Le thème retenu cette année pour les deux événements ; «Les Oiseaux de l’Afrique du nord face aux changements Globaux». La tenue des deux rencontres sera certainement l’occasion de mettre en œuvre, un réseau d’ornithologues maghrébins et par la même créer une revue scientifique traitant des Oiseaux d’Afrique du nord.

Thèmes retenus:

  • Oiseaux de l’Afrique du nord face aux changements Globaux
  • Statut et biogéographie de l’avifaune nord africaine
  • Ecologie et Biologie des Oiseaux des régions désertiques et sahariennes
  • Conservation des zones humides et des Oiseaux d’eau dans le nord de l’Afrique
  • Oiseaux des milieux anthropisés (milieux agricoles et urbains)
  • Ecologie et biologie de l’avifaune forestière
  • Oiseaux du littoral atlantique et de la Méditerranée

First North African Congress of Ornithology: call for papers

The Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Animal Ecophysiology of the University of Béjaia (Algeria) is organising the First North African Congress of Ornithology and the 4th International Colloquium of Algerian Ornithology from 24 to 26 October 2017 at the University of Béjaia. You will find here all the details of the call for papers (English).

Aims:

After the successful editions of Batna (2006), Oum El-Bouaghi (2012) and Guelma (2014). The Laboratory of Applied Zoology and Animal Ecophysiology of the Bejaia University (Algeria), suggests organizing the fourth edition of the International Colloquium of Algerian Ornithology. This year, and given the enthusiasm of our Maghrebian colleagues for the previous meetings, a North African dimension is given to this scientific event, with the organization for the first time on a regional level of the First North African Congress of Ornithology. The theme held this year, for both events; “The Birds of North Africa if front of Global Change”. The two meetings will certainly provide an opportunity to enforce a network of Maghreb ornithologists and by the same to create a scientific journal dealing with the Birds of North Africa.

Retained themes:

  • Birds of North Africa in front of Global Change
  • Status and biogeography of North African avifauna
  • Ecology and Biology of the birds of the Desert and Saharan Regions
  • Conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in northern Africa
  • Ecology and biology of forest avifauna
  • Birds of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean coasts

Premier Congrès Nord-Africain d’Ornithologie et le 4ème Colloque International d’Ornithologie Algérienne, du 24 au 26 octobre 2017 à l’Université de Béjaia (Algérie)

Premier Congrès Nord-Africain d’Ornithologie et le 4ème Colloque International d’Ornithologie Algérienne, du 24 au 26 octobre 2017 à l’Université de Béjaia (Algérie)

 

North African hybrid sparrows back from oblivion – ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species

Ait Belkacem, A., Gast, O., Stuckas, H., Canal, D., LoValvo, M., Giacalone, G. & Päckert, M. (2016). North African hybrid sparrows (Passer domesticus, P. hispaniolensis) back from oblivion – ecological segregation and asymmetric mitochondrial introgression between parental species. Ecology and Evolution 15: 5190–5206. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2274 (Open Access)

Abstract:

A stabilized hybrid form of the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Spanish sparrow (P. hispaniolensis) is known as Passer italiae from the Italian Peninsula and a few Mediterranean islands. The growing attention for the Italian hybrid sparrow and increasing knowledge on its biology and genetic constitution greatly contrast the complete lack of knowledge of the long-known phenotypical hybrid sparrow populations from North Africa. Our study provides new data on the breeding biology and variation of mitochondrial DNA in three Algerian populations of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows, and phenotypical hybrids. In two field seasons, the two species occupied different breeding habitats: Spanish sparrows were only found in rural areas outside the cities and bred in open-cup nests built in large jujube bushes. In contrast, house sparrows bred only in the town centers and occupied nesting holes in walls of buildings. Phenotypical hybrids were always associated with house sparrow populations. House sparrows and phenotypical hybrids started breeding mid of March, and most pairs had three successive clutches, whereas Spanish sparrows started breeding almost one month later and had only two successive clutches. Mitochondrial introgression is strongly asymmetric because about 75% of the rural Spanish sparrow population carried house sparrow haplotypes. In contrast, populations of the Italian hybrid form, P. italiae, were genetically least diverse among all study populations and showed a near-fixation of house sparrow haplotypes that elsewhere were extremely rare or that were even unique for the Italian Peninsula. Such differences between mitochondrial gene pools of Italian and North African hybrid sparrow populations provide first evidence that different demographic histories have shaped the extant genetic diversity observed on both continents.

Nesting sites of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows and phenotypical hybrids in Algeria; (A, C) Passer domesticus: nest with eggs and burrows in brick wall, both at Djelfa – phenotypical hybrids show the same nesting site preference; (B, D) Passer hispaniolensis: nest with eggs and breeding colony in jujube bushes, both at Hassi El-Euch (photos: A. Ait Belkacem)

Nesting sites of house sparrows, Spanish sparrows and phenotypical hybrids in Algeria; (A, C) Passer domesticus: nest with eggs and burrows in brick wall, both at Djelfa – phenotypical hybrids show the same nesting site preference; (B, D) Passer hispaniolensis: nest with eggs and breeding colony in jujube bushes, both at Hassi El-Euch (photos: A. Ait Belkacem)

 

 

Sexual size dimorphism and morphometric sexing in a North African population of Laughing Doves (Spilopelia senegalensis)

Ayadi, T., Hammouda, A., Kididi, S., Yahyaoui, M. H. & Selmi, S. (2016). Sexual size dimorphism and morphometric sexing in a North African population of Laughing Doves Spilopelia senegalensis. Ostrich 87: 173–177. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2016.1188173

Abstract:

Like the majority of Columbiformes, the Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis is sexually monomorphic in plumage, but seems to be slightly dimorphic in size. However, due to the lack of studies little is known about the sexual size dimorphism in this species. In this work, we used morphometric data on a sample of 61 Laughing Doves from southern Tunisia, and sexed using a DNA-based method, to assess size differences between males and females and to determine a discriminant function useful for sex identification. The results showed that wing length was the most dimorphic trait, which could be due to the effects of sexual selection. The best function for the discrimination between sexes included wing length and head length, which is comparable with findings on other dove species. This discriminant function accurately classified 89% of birds, providing a rapid and accurate tool for sex identification in the studied population. Further data from different populations are needed for firmer conclusions about the extent of sexual size dimorphism and the reliability of the morphometric sexing approach in this dove species.

Consistency in long-distance bird migration: contrasting patterns in time and space for two raptors

Vardanis, Y., Nilsson, J.-Å., Klaassen, R. H. G., Strandberg, R. & Alerstam, T. (2016). Consistency in long-distance bird migration: contrasting patterns in time and space for two raptors. Animal Behaviour 113: 177–187. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.12.014
PDF in ResearGate.net

Abstract :

As the evolutionary responses to environmental change depend on selection acting on individual differences, disentangling within- and between-individual variation becomes imperative. In animal migration research, multiyear tracks are thus needed to estimate the individual consistency of phenotypic traits. Avian telemetry studies have recently provided the first evidence of individuality across space and time in animal migration. Here, we compare repeatability patterns of routes and timing between two migratory birds, the marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus, and the osprey, Pandion haliaetus, as recorded by satellite tracking. We found interspecific contrasts with low repeatability in timing and duration and a high repeatability in routes for ospreys, but the reverse pattern for marsh harriers. This was mainly caused by (1) larger between-individual variation in routes for ospreys (broad-front migration) than for marsh harriers (corridor migration) and a higher degree of repeated use of the same stopover sites among ospreys, and (2) higher within-individual consistency of timing and duration among marsh harriers, while individual ospreys were more flexible. Our findings suggest that individuality in space and time is not a shared trait complex among migrants, but may show adaptive variation depending on the species’ life history and ecology.

Voir aussi:

Trierweiler, C., Klaassen, R. H. G., Drent, R. H., Exo, K.-M., Komdeur, J., Bairlein, F., & Koks, B. J. (2014). Migratory connectivity and population-specific migration routes in a long-distance migratory bird. Proc. R. Soc. B 281: 20132897.

Maps showing the routes of eight adult ospreys (first row) and six adult marsh harriers (second row) that completed at least one round trip between the breeding grounds in Sweden and the wintering quarters in West Africa during 1996–2012

Maps showing the routes of eight adult ospreys (first row) and six adult marsh harriers (second row) that completed at least one round trip between the breeding grounds in Sweden and the wintering quarters in West Africa during 1996–2012. Each panel highlights the three individuals with most repeated journeys of each species (a: OM1; b: OM2; c: OF1, d: MHM1; e: MHF1, f: MHF2; see Table 1 for details) in blue (autumn) and red (spring), as well as the trips of all other individuals of the species in grey

Significant population of Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) found in Morocco

Amezian, M. & El Khamlichi, R. 2016. Significant population of Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus found in Morocco. Ostrich 87: 73–76.

Abstract:

The Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus population in Morocco has undergone a marked decline since the 1980s to the point of nearing local extinction in the twenty-first century. A field study of some possible sites for Egyptian Vultures was carried out over six days during June 2014 in the Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco. We counted a total of 48 Egyptian Vultures at three different localities: two occupied breeding sites and one communal roost that hosted 40 vultures of different ages. A (probable) singe adult bird at the breeding site was located and a previously occupied site was also visited. A preliminary survey amongst local people indicated that threats faced by this species are predator poisoning in some areas, and the use of vulture parts for traditional medicine. Given that the species is considered globally Endangered and populations continue to decline in many areas, the discovered population reported here, although relatively small, is of national and regional (North-west Africa) importance. We expect this new situation will revive the hopes for studying and conserving this and other vulture species in Morocco and North-west Africa in general.

More details / Plus de détails:

The plight of the Egyptian Vulture and hopes for the future.

Traduit aussi en français: Les vautours au Maghreb: une situation critique et espoirs pour l’avenir.

Videos of the communal roost of Egyptian Vultures,  Morocco / Dortoir de Vautours percnoptères:

Adult Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Middle Atlas, Morocco
Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus), Middle Atlas, Morocco.

Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations

Flack, A., Fiedler, W., Blas, J., Pokrovsky, I., Kaatz, M., Mitropolsky, M., Aghababyan, K., Fakriadis, I., Makrigianni, E., Jerzak, L. and Azafzaf, H., Feltrup-Azafzaf, C., Rotics, S., Mokotjomela, T. M., Nathan, R. & Wikelski, M. 2016. Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations. Science Advances 2(1): p.e1500931. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500931 (Open Access)

Abstract:

Annual migratory movements can range from a few tens to thousands of kilometers, creating unique energetic requirements for each specific species and journey. Even within the same species, migration costs can vary largely because of flexible, opportunistic life history strategies. We uncover the large extent of variation in the lifetime migratory decisions of young white storks originating from eight populations. Not only did juvenile storks differ in their geographically distinct wintering locations, their diverse migration patterns also affected the amount of energy individuals invested for locomotion during the first months of their life. Overwintering in areas with higher human population reduced the stork’s overall energy expenditure because of shorter daily foraging trips, closer wintering grounds, or a complete suppression of migration. Because migrants can change ecological processes in several distinct communities simultaneously, understanding their life history decisions helps not only to protect migratory species but also to conserve stable ecosystems.

Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations

Fig. 1. Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations (Flack et al. 2016)

 

From Scotland to Algeria: Geolocators reveal migration and wintering areas of Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

Sim, I. M. W., Green, M., Rebecca, G. W. & Burgess, M. D. (2015). Geolocators reveal new insights into Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus migration routes and non-breeding areas. Bird Study 62: 561–565.  doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1077779
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The first details of the migration pattern of a male Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus, fitted with a geolocator on its Scottish breeding grounds, showed that it wintered in the Algerian Atlas Mountains, substantially east of the suspected main wintering area.

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus - Merle à plastron - دج مطوق), Algeria

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus – Merle à plastron – دج مطوق), Algeria, November 2015 (photo: Amine Djabari)

 

From Scotland to Algeria: Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) migration and wintering areas

Median autumn stopover and wintering areas (ellipses) identified from geolocations from an ouzel tracked from Scotland, and recovery locations of British-ringed ouzels. Stopover and winter location ellipses represent the standard deviation of locations around the median point. British-breeding ouzels recovered in autumn (September–November: stars), winter (December–February: open circles) or spring (March–April: upward triangles) are shown alongside non British-breeding ouzels recovered during September–ovember (filled circles). http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2015.1077779

A new North African subspecies of Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Svensson, L. 2015. A new North African subspecies of Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 135: 69–76.

In this recent taxonomic paper, Lars Svensson described a new subspecies of Common Chaffinch from north Cyrenaica, Libya: Fringilla coelebs harterti subsp. novUntil now, the birds breeding in this region were generally included in Fringilla coelebs africana.

Summary:

A new subspecies of Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs in North Africa is described. It is restricted to northern Cyrenaica in north-east Libya. Differences from the other North African subspecies, F. c. africana and F. c. spodiogenys, are discussed, the main ones being that males invariably possess a prominent white patch on the central nape, a hint of a white post-ocular supercilium, a more yellowish tinge both above and below, stronger yellow fringes to the tertials and wing-coverts, and a less clean blue-grey head. Reasons for not recognising the subspecies F. c. koenigi are reconfirmed. There is some variation in size and in saturation of male plumage within the range of africana, making separation of koenigi untenable.

First posted in MaghrebOrnitho.

:ملخص

Fringilla coelebs harterti :تم وصف نوع فرعي جديد من الحسون الظالم في شمال برقة، شمال شرق ليبيا

Fringilla coelebs africana :حتى الآن، يتم عادة إدراج الحسون الظالم الدي يتوالد في هذه المنطقة في النوع الفرعي

Libyan Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs harterti): a new subspecies found only in Cyrenaica,north-east Libya.
Libyan Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs harterti): a new subspecies found only in Cyrenaica, north-east Libya (photo: Encyclopedia of Wild Birds in Libya – موسوعة الطيور البرية في ليبيا).
Libyan Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs harterti): a new subspecies found only in Cyrenaica,north-east Libya
Libyan Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs harterti): a new subspecies found only in Cyrenaica, north-east Libya. (‎photo: Encyclopedia of Wild Birds in Libya – موسوعة الطيور البرية في ليبيا) ‎

Wintering and migration routes for Ortolan Buntings from Sweden determined with geolocators

Selstam, G., Sondell, J. & Olsson, P. (2015). Wintering area and migration routes for Ortolan Buntings Emberiza hortulana from Sweden determined with light-geologgers. Ornis Svecica 25: 3–14.
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Summary:

The decrease of Ortolan Bunting Emberiza hortulana in Western Europe over the last five decades has caused serious concern for the survival of this species in Sweden. In order to find out the migration routes and wintering location, we equipped several males with geologgers. Our data show annual cycles of migrations routes, wintering grounds and time schedules for seven re-trapped birds. The wintering area in West Africa is savannah woodland in a mountainous landscape in Mali and Guinea. The migration routes follow more or less the great circle between the breeding and wintering areas. Most birds were likely to have passed the well-known Ortolan catching area in les Landes south of Bordeaux in France during autumn migration.

During autumn migration, all the birds made stopovers on the Iberian Peninsula or in Morocco, lasting from 6 to 32 days.

The birds started their spring migration in late March or first half of April. All birds arrived a few days later to stopovers in Morocco or Spain, lasting from 5 to 18 days.

Migration routes for Ortolan Buntings (Emberiza hortulana) between Sweden and sub-Saharan Africa

Migration routes for Ortolan Buntings (Emberiza hortulana) between Sweden and sub-Saharan Africa. Longer stays are indicated with numbers (equalling the number of days spent there). Figures given with regular type represent autumn and bold figures represent spring periods. See the article for more details and other 5 birds.