Sudan Golden Sparrow at Djanet, Algeria

A male Sudan Golden Sparrow (Passer luteus) was photographed by Bilal Guerouiat at Djanet, south-east Algeria in January 2017.

More details and photographs here: Moineau doré (Passer luteus) à Djanet, sud-est d’Algérie.

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Huitièmes Journées Internationales “Oiseaux D’eau Et Zones Humides”

L’Ecole Supérieure de Technologie de Khénifra (ESTK), de l’Université Moulay Ismail, organise la 8ième session des Journées Internationales sur les Oiseaux d’Eau et les Zones Humides du 19 au 20 mai 2017 à Khénifra (Maroc), et ce en partenariat avec l’Institut Scientifique de Rabat ; le Groupe de Recherche pour la Protection des Oiseaux au Maroc (GREPOM/BirdLife Maroc), le Haut Commissariat aux Eaux et Forêts et à la Lutte contre la Désertification (HCEFLCD). Ces journées ont pour objet d’offrir aux institutions investies dans la connaissance ou la gestion des zones humides nord-africaines une occasion adéquate pour échanger leur savoir et savoir-faire. Lesquels échanges ont amplement contribué à stimuler la recherche et à améliorer les approches en gestion durable des zones humides nord-africaines.

La huitième édition, ces journées visent de contribuer à la mise au point sur la recherche en relation avec les effets des changements climatiques sur les zones humides nord-africaines ; mais elles offrent aussi l’occasion pour renforcer un programme ambitieux de recherche et de formation en environnement lancé par l’ESTK relevant de  l’Université de Moulay Ismail Meknès ; lequel programme s’individualise au Maroc comme initiative pilote d’intégration de la gestion des milieux naturels à la formation universitaire.

Thèmes des journées

  • Impact des changements climatiques sur les zones humides ;
  • Ecologie et Biologie de la flore et de la faune des zones humides ;
  • Fonctionnement, services écosystémiques des zones humides ;
  • Gestion intégrée des ressources en eau et conservation des zones humides.

Communications/posters

  • Les communications doivent être inédites et concises.
  • Les langues de communication sont le français, l’anglais et l’arabe.
  • Chaque communication durera 15 minutes (exposé : 10 mn, discussion : 5 mn
  • Les dimensions des posters ne doivent pas dépasser 0,90 m /1,2 m.

Actes des Journées

Les communications (8 pages A4 au maximum, déposées lors de l’inscription aux journées) seront publiées dans un volume spécial d’un périodique ; elles devront respecter le modèle de présentation qui sera proposé dans la deuxième circulaire. Des résumés de posters pourront également être inclus dans les Actes.

Frais d’inscription

Les frais d’inscription des participants sont de 600,00 Dhs (professionnels) et de 300 Dhs pour étudiants ; ils incluent l’accès au programme, les actes du congrès, les déjeuners et les pauses-cafés.

Personne de contact: Pr. Abba El Hassan (email dans le bulletin ci-dessus)

Bulletin de participation (à retourner avant le 10 mars 2017).

8th Session of the International Conference on Waterbirds and Wetlands

The Higher School of Technology of Khénifra, University Moulay Ismail, is organizing the eighth session of the International Days on Water Birds and Wetlands from May 19 to 20, 2017 in Khénifra, in partnership with the Institute Scientist of Rabat; The Research Group for the Protection of Birds in Morocco, the High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification and the Scientific Institute of Rabat. The purpose of these days is to offer institutions invested in the knowledge or management of North African wetlands an appropriate opportunity to exchange their knowledge and know-how. These exchanges have contributed significantly to stimulate research and improve approaches to the sustainable management of North African wetlands.

The eighth edition aims to contribute to the development of research related to the effects of climate change on North African wetlands; But they also provide an opportunity to strengthen an ambitious program of environmental research and training launched by ESTK under the University of Moulay Ismail Meknes; Which is being integrated into Morocco as a pilot initiative to integrate the management of natural environments into university training.

Themes of the conference

  • Impact of climate change on wetlands;
  • Ecology and Biology of Wetland Flora and Fauna;
  • Operation, ecosystem services of wetlands;
  • Integrated Water Resources Management and Wetland Conservation.

Participation form (to be returned by March 10, 2017).

Huitièmes Journées Internationales "Oiseaux d'Eau et Zones Humides", Khénifra (Maroc), du 19 au 20 mai 2017.

Huitièmes Journées Internationales “Oiseaux d’Eau et Zones Humides”, Khénifra (Maroc), du 19 au 20 mai 2017.

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Wintering waterbird assemblages in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia

Hamza, F., Hammouda, A. & Selmi, S. (2016). Wintering waterbird assemblages in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia. Ostrich 87:  217–223. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2016.1207721
PDF

Abstract

Although the Gulf of Gabès is recognised as an Important Bird Area, several aspects of the ecology of waterbirds inhabiting this area still need to be investigated. We observed how waterbird foraging guilds varied among habitats. In total, 49 species belonging to 16 families were recorded. Winter visitors accounted for 73% of counts. The avifauna was dominated by shorebirds (52% of records), followed by large wading birds (25%), open-water birds (18%) and waterfowl (5%). However, the structure of local waterbird communities and their composition in terms of foraging guilds varied according to habitat type. The bird communities of sandy beaches were dominated by open-water birds, whereas large mudflats were dominated by shorebirds, and wadi estuaries showed a more even representation of foraging guilds. Locally rare species had narrow distributions, whereas locally abundant species were found widely within the gulf. For four species the 1% population level criterion of the Ramsar Convention was exceeded. Overall, our results show that the Gulf of Gabès hosts important numbers of waterbirds with different ecological requirements, which confirms the importance of this gulf as a wintering area for Palearctic waterbirds.

Rassemblements hivernaux chez les oiseaux aquatiques de la zone centrale du Golfe de Gabes en Tunisie méridionale

Bien que le Golfe de Gabes soit reconnu comme une zone importante pour la conservation des oiseaux, de nombreux aspects de l’écologie des oiseaux d’eau qui y vivent restent peu connus. Ainsi, l’objectif de ce travail était de décrire la diversité de l’avifaune hivernante dans ce golfe et d’étudier la variation de sa composition, en termes de guildes alimentaires, entre les différents types d’habitat qu’abrite cette région. Au total, 49 espèces appartenant à 16 familles ont été recensées. Les hivernants représentent 73% des effectifs enregistrés. Cette avifaune est dominée par les limicoles (52% des effectifs enregistrés) suivis par les grands échassiers (25%), les laridés (18%) et les canards (5%). Cependant, la structure des communautés locales et leurs compositions en termes de guildes varient en fonction de d’habitat. C’est ainsi que les avifaunes des plages sableuses sont dominées par les laridés, celles des vasières par les limicoles, alors que les estuaires des oueds abritent une avifaune plus équilibrée. Les espèces localement rares ont une répartition restreinte, tandis que les espèces localement abondantes ont une large distribution dans le golfe. D’autre part, pour quatre des espèces recensées, le critère de 1% de la Convention de Ramsar est atteint. Globalement, nos résultats montrent que le Golfe de Gabes abrite un effectif important d’oiseaux d’eau ayant des affinités écologiques variées, ce qui confirme l’importance de ce golfe pour l’avifaune Paléarctique.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia) ringed in The Netherlands and observed here in gulf of Gabès, Tunisia.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia). This bird was ringed in summer 2015 in The Netherlands. During the autumn migration, this spoonbill was observed in the gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. Usually, spoonbills from the Netherlands use the East Atlantic flyway and it is uncommon to observe them in Tunisia. This recovery of Dutch spoonbill is the 4th in Tunisia and the first for the gulf of Gabès (Foued HAMZA)

 

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Cohabitation étroite entre la Cigogne blanche le Grand Corbeau en Algérie

Boulaouad Belkacem, A., Ailam, O., Bouaziz, A., Daoudi-Hacini, S. & Doumandji, S. 2015. Cohabitation étroite entre la Cigogne blanche Ciconia ciconia et le Grand Corbeau Corvus corax en Algérie. Alauda 83: 39-40.

Strong cohabitation between White Stork Ciconia ciconia and Raven Corvus corax in Algeria.

PDF in ResearchGate.net

Jeune Grand Corbeau sur le nid (2) à proximité de celui de la Cigogne blanche (3). Un Grand Corbeau adulte surveille à proximité (1). Young Raven on the nest (2) close to that of the White Stork (3). A Raven adult monitors nearby (1)

Jeune Grand Corbeau sur le nid (2) à proximité de celui de la Cigogne blanche (3). Un Grand Corbeau adulte surveille à proximité (1).                                                                                                                      Young Raven on the nest (2) close to that of the White Stork (3). A Raven adult monitors nearby (1)

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Co-occurrence and commensal feeding between Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) and Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia)

Hamza, F., & Selmi, S. (2016). Co-occurrence and commensal feeding between Little Egrets Egretta garzetta and Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia. Bird Study 63: 509–515. doi: 10.1080/00063657.2016.1238035
PDF in RresearchGate

Abstract:

Capsule: The spatial distribution and feeding efficiency of Little Egrets Egretta garzetta wintering in the gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, are affected by a commensal association with the Eurasian Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia.

Aims: To investigate the role of the interspecific interaction between Little Egrets and Eurasian Spoonbills in shaping the spatial distribution and feeding efficiency of Little Egrets.

Methods: Using count and behavioural data, we examined the co-occurrence of these species in flocks, and compared the foraging efficiency of Little Egrets feeding with Eurasian Spoonbills with that of solitary Little Egrets.

Results: We found that the presence of Eurasian Spoonbills doubled the chance of Little Egrets being present. Within mixed flocks, the number of Little Egrets increased with the number of Spoonbills. Moreover, Little Egrets foraging in association with Eurasian Spoonbills took fewer steps, had higher pecking rates and higher prey intake rates than solitary Little Egrets.

Conclusion: Little Egrets appear to obtain foraging efficiency benefits by following Eurasian Spoonbills. This interaction seems to play a role in determining the spatial distribution of Little Egrets.

 

Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia (Csaba Pigniczki )

Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia), Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia (Csaba Pigniczki )

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Diet of Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) in desert area at Hassi El Gara (El Golea, Algeria)

Djilali, K., Sekour, M., Souttou, K., Ababsa, L., Guezoul, O., Denys, C. & Doumandji, S. (2016). Diet of Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan, 1763) in desert area at Hassi El Gara (El Golea, Algeria). Zoology and Ecology 26: 159–165. doi: 10.1080/21658005.2016.1184907
PDF

Abstract:

The diet of the Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus was analysed in an arid environment in Hassi El Gara located in the southeast of El Golea (Ghardaia, Algeria). The diet was determined by analysing 138 pellets. Our data showed that the diet was dominated by mammals (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Based on relative biomass, birds were the main prey species. Mammals were the second most important prey. Mammals were the major food item throughout the seasons and their contribution to the diet ranged from 50.7% in spring to 73.6% in summer. Birds were the second numerous prey with 8.1% in summer and 29.6% in spring. The dominant prey species was Myotis sp., making up 37.8%. It was followed by Gerbillus nanus (5.4%), Columba livia (4.3%) and Bufo mauritanicus (4.1%).

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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)

 

 

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