The diversity of wild animals at Fezzan Province (Libya)

Essghaier, M. F. A., Taboni, I. M. & Etayeb, K. S. (2015). The diversity of wild animals at Fezzan Province (Libya). Biodiversity Journal 6(1):  245–252.


Fezzan province (Libya) is a segment of true Sahara, is characterized by diverse habitats that are utilized as shelters and feeding ground for many desert wildlife species. Oases with water table near the surface are the most prominent feature in the Libyan desert. The diversity in habitats resulted in diversity in wildlife, as well as the plant cover (trees and bushes) is the most effective factor for the existence and the abundance of wild animals, in particular bird species. This study observed many species of reptiles, birds and mammals. In the study is also reported the rock hyrax Procavia capensis Pallas, 1766 (Hyracoidea Procaviidae) a rare and endemic species at the area.

Factors influencing species-richness of breeding waterbirds in Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands

Cherkaoui, S. I., Hanane, S., Magri, N., El Agbani, M.-A. & Dakki, M. (2015). Factors influencing species-richness of breeding waterbirds in Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands: a macroecological approach. Wetlands 35(5): 913–922.
doi: 10.1007/s13157-015-0682-y


Since 2005, Morocco has designated 28 Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Ramsar wetlands for waterbirds, yet little is known about how waterbird communities are changing over time and space, within and between sites. We assessed the relationships between species numbers of overall breeding waterbirds, as well as those of Anatidae, Rallidae and Podicipedidae, and geographical, topographical and macrohabitat factors. Species richness of overall waterbirds and Anatidae were positively correlated with: (i) extent of emergent vegetation, (ii) number of plant species present, and (iii) altitude. Species richness of Rallidae was positively correlated with: (i) latitude, and (ii) different beds of emergent vegetation, while that of Podicipedidae was exclusively correlated with altitude. These results suggest that breeding waterfowl are significantly related to habitat characteristics, most importantly vegetation structure, and altitude. Our findings give support to the idea that large mountain wetlands protected areas provide valuable habitat to breeding waterbirds in this region, by providing larger buffer zones with fewer human activities, such as hunting, urbanization and tourism disturbance. This study provides a platform from which we can advance the scientific research on Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands.

Dynamics of invasive and expanding species in the Mitidja Plain, Northern Algeria

Bendjoudi, D., Chenchouni, H., Doumandji, S., & Voisin, J.-F. 2013. Bird Species Diversity of the Mitidja Plain (Northern Algeria) with Emphasis on the Dynamics of Invasive and Expanding Species. Acrocephalus 34: 13–26.
doi: 10.2478/acro-2013-0002

Abstract & full text (Open Access):

This treatise investigates the poorly studied bird fauna of Mitidja Plain (Northern Algeria), with particular notes on the occurrence and expansion of new and alien species. Direct observations, supported by ornithological surveys carried out by Progressive Frequential Sampling (PFS), a version of a point count method, have allowed us to identify 125 bird species. These represent 31% of all species known from Algeria. The species recorded belong to 14 orders, 39 families and 37 genera. According to their biogeographic origins, 36 are Mediterranean, 32 Palearctic, 24 Holarctic, 17 European and 16 of European-Turkestani origin. The Mitidja Plain holds 60 resident-breeder species (48% of all registered species) and is a transit zone for many migratory species (summer and winter migrants constituting 20% and 14% of the total, respectively) and occasional visitors (RA = 12%). Among recently expanding species (introduced or local), the Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto and Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus, sampled by the spot-mapping method, experienced a very rapid population growth. The first observations of the former were made in 1996 in Algiers. Its numbers experienced a steep increase after 2002, starting from 5.75 pairs/10 ha to reach up to 31.5 pairs/10 ha in 2006. The same applies for the Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri, surveyed by direct-count at roosting sites. This species has been able to increase and reproduce since its first introduction into the wild in 1996. The increase in study species populations, especially the Rose-ringed Parakeet, may derive from good weather conditions that favoured the species through providing better feeding conditions, thus high reproduction outcomes.

Rose-ringed Parakeet - Perruche à collier (Psittacula krameri), northern Algeria

Rose-ringed Parakeet – Perruche à collier (Psittacula krameri), northern Algeria (Mohamed Missoum‎)

Population growth of Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) in Mitidja Plain and surrounding areas of Algiers, based on the counts of individuals on roost-sites

Population growth of Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri) in Mitidja Plain and surrounding areas of Algiers, based on the counts of individuals on roost-sites (Bendjoudi et al.)

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

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)

Biodiversity and phenology of the Rallidae and the Anatidae in Garaet Hadj Tahar (NE Algeria)

Bara, M., Merzoug S., Bouslama Z. & Houhamdi M. (2013). Biodiversity and phenology of the Rallidae and the Anatidae in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Norteast of Algeria). Annals of Biological Research 4 (6): 249-253. PDF


During this study which was carried out between November 2011 and October 2012 in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Northeast of Algeria), we counted the Anatidae and the Rallidae individuals, then we calculated the ecological indexes (Abundance, specific richness, diversity index and equitability index), in order to evaluate the biodiversity in this ecosystem. 14 species were noted which belong to six genera: Fulica, Gallinula, Porphyrio, Anas, Aythya and Oxyura, among them two species cited as threatened species (Ferruginous duck Aythya nyroca and White-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala). The high value of Shannon-Weaver and equitability indexes were recorded during the wintering period with a value of 2.219 and 0.6 respectively.

Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Algeria)

Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Algeria). From Metallaoui & Houhamdi (2010).

The geographical situation of Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Algeria) taken from figure 1 in: Metallaoui, S., & Houhamdi, M. (2010). Biodiversité et écologie de l’avifaune aquatique hivernante dans Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Nord-Est de l’Algérie). Hydroécologie Appliquée 17: 1-16.

Assessing bird ecological status at Salt Lake Djendli, North-east Algeria

Bensizerara, D., Chenchouni, H., Bachir, A. S., & Houhamdi, M. (2013). Ecological status interactions for assessing bird diversity in relation to a heterogeneous landscape structure. Avian Biology Research 6(1): 67-77. PDF 


Avian diversity is used to assess the functionality of diverse types of habitats around Salt Lake Djendli, North-east Algeria. The landscape is stratified into five habitat types in a gradient from wetland to forested mountains. Bird species found in these habitats can be classified into four ecological groups with decreasing degrees of aquatic specialisation and increasing forest specialisation. For each surveyed species, five ecological status were assigned. Overall, there was lower species richness in urban areas compared to other “natural” habitats. Birds have a biogeographical affinity to the western Palaearctic according to the dominant faunal types. Interactions of ecological status with phenological traits reveal that water birds are different from non-aquatic species because most of them are migrants. Moreover, overall, there is no worrying conservation status for surveyed birds. Bird diet is dependent on the ecological status that differentiate bird groups from each other due to differences in the food resources of the habitats they frequent. Phenological categories tend to link together birds of urban and open-lands. These two groups are affected by seasonal human activities. Our findings emphasise the importance of using combinations within the birds’ ecological status, which would give information on the actual state of avifauna. This approach is relevant for future programmes and conservation actions.