Distribution et abondance du Flamant rose Phoenicopterus roseus hivernant dans la zone centrale du golfe de Gabès (Tunisie)

Hamza F., Hammouda A., Chokri M.A., Béchet A. & Selmi S., 2014. Distribution et abondance du Flamant rose Phoenicopterus roseus hivernant dans la zone centrale du golfe de Gabès (Tunisie). Alauda 82 (2): 135-142.
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Distribution and abundance of Greater Flamingos wintering in the central part of the gulf of Gabès, Tunisia.

Abstract:

The Gulf of Gabès, in south-eastern Tunisia, is one of the most important Mediterranean wintering areas for the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus. However, information on the ecological factors shaping the abundance and distribution of this species in this wintering area are lacking. During the winter of 2010-2011, we conducted repeated counts of flamingos in fifteen sites in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès. The collected data were used to investigate the abundance and distribution of flamingos in this particular wintering area. We found that the total number of flamingos inhabiting the studied area ranged from 262 to 1781, and the proportion of occupied sites varied between 27 and 80%. We also found that the abundance and distribution of flamingos showed a peak between mid-November and mid-January. After this period, the flamingos became gradually rare, as a result of adults’ migration to northern breeding areas. In addition, our results showed that flamingos more frequently and more abundantly occurred in large mudflats (bays and estuaries) than in sandy beaches with small intertidal zones. The formers are likely to present more attractive feeding habitats because of their higher prey availability and accessibility. However, human presence (fishermen and shellfishers) did not appear to affect flamingos’ abundance and distribution. Fishermen and shellfishers did not seem to constitute a threat or a major disturbing factor for flamingos.

Flamant roses - Phoenicopterus roseus - Greater Flamingos

Flamant roses – Phoenicopterus roseus – Greater Flamingos (Photo: Foued Hamza)

Passerine abundance and diversity in a polluted oasis habitat in south-eastern Tunisia

Alaya-Ltifi, L., & Selmi, S. (2014). Passerine abundance and diversity in a polluted oasis habitat in south-eastern Tunisia. European Journal of Wildlife Research, 60: 535–541. doi:10.1007/s10344-014-0817-0

Abstract:
Gabès region, in south-eastern Tunisia, is nowadays considered as one of the most remarkable pollution hotspots in the Mediterranean due to the emissions of the Gabès-Ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment. However, because of the lack of detailed studies, the impact of such pollution on the terrestrial wildlife inhabiting this area still remains unknown. In this work, we checked whether the proximity to Gabès-Ghannouche factory complex was associated with a decreased abundance of passerines breeding in the neighbouring oasis habitat. Overall, passerine abundance was found to decrease in the proximity of the factory complex, but this decrease was more pronounced in insectivorous species than in granivorous ones. The latter species seemed to be more dependent on vegetation structure. Moreover, we found that in the sites close to the factory complex, the studied passerine community was dominated by the Sparrow Passer domesticus × hispaniolensis, which seemed to be the less sensitive species to pollution. However, in the more distant sites, passerine abundance was more equitably distributed among species due to the increase in the densities of pollution-sensitive ones. Our findings give support to those reported in polluted European forest habitats and stress once again the usefulness of passerines as reliable biomonitors of polluted terrestrial environments.

Palmeraie Gabès , Tunisie

Palmeraie Gabès, Tunisie. (photo: Elcèd77 in Wikipedia)