Premières données sur la reproduction de la Mouette rieuse (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) dans le centre-ouest du Maroc

Radi, M., Aourir, M., Qninba, A., El Mouden, H. & Znari, M. 2017. Premières données sur la reproduction de la Mouette rieuse Chroicocephalus ridibundus dans le centre-ouest du Maroc. Alauda 85: 131-138.

First breeding data on the Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus in Central West Morocco.


This study presents the first data on a breeding colony of the Black-headed Gull on islets of the Al Massira reservoir in central west Morocco from 2002 to 2008. Laying phenology, nesting site selection, clutch size, egg size and breeding success were investigated. These data provide new information at the southwestern limit of the species’ breeding area (32° N).

Mouette rieuse (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Lac Telamine, Gdyel (Oran), Algérie

Mouette rieuse (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Lac Telamine, Gdyel (Oran), Algérie, 20/06/2016 (Ali Mehadji)

Breeding ecology of colonial White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) in northeast Algeria

Bouriach, M., Samraoui, F., Souilah, R., Houma, I., Razkallah, I., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2015). Does core-periphery gradient determine breeding performance in a breeding colony of White Storks Ciconia ciconia? Acta Ornithologica 50: 149–156. doi: 10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.2.003
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The timing of breeding and nest location in colonial birds may have fitness consequences. In particular, it has been demonstrated that peripheral breeders perform less well than core breeders. To determine whether environmental factors such as date of breeding and nest position influence reproductive success, we studied the breeding ecology of a large colony of White Stork Ciconia ciconia at Dréan, northeast Algeria, during 2011 and 2012. Mean egg-laying dates varied significantly between years and differed between core and peripheral nests with more precocious laying occurring in the center. Egg-laying in larger nests started earlier than in smaller ones in the core area but neither nest size nor nest position along the core-periphery gradient had any influence on studied breeding parameters i.e. clutch size, hatching success and chick productivity. There was no yearly difference in clutch size which averaged 4.7 ± 0.7 eggs (N = 156 clutches). Mean chick productivity was higher in 2012 (2.85 ± 1.21 chicks) than in 2011 (2.29 ± 2.28 chicks) and was marginally associated with egg-laying date. In contrast, nesting success declined with delayed onset of breeding. Results suggest that a low predation rate, abundant resources and a possible trade-off between fitness components may confound adaptive breeding-habitat selection in White Stork.

Young White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest

Young White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest (Frans de Wit, CC-by-nc-nd license)

Nesting ecology of Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) in north-eastern Algeria

Fouzari, A., Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2015). Nesting ecology of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca in north-eastern Algeria. African Zoology 50: 299–305. doi: 10.1080/15627020.2015.1108165
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The status of waterbirds breeding in protected areas in North Africa needs constant monitoring because of a naturally fluctuating environment and permissive attitudes towards illegal activities likely to negatively affect population dynamics of threatened species. We present the results of a study conducted at a protected site, Lake Tonga, north-eastern Algeria, on a breeding population of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca, a Near-Threatened duck subjected to considerable pressure from egg-pilfering and illegal hunting. Two distinct habitats within the lake were used by Ferruginous Duck: an Alder carr (Alnus glutinosa) and floating islets across the lake. The mean clutch size was 9.51±1.84 eggs (N = 51 clutches) with hatching rate of 80.7% for successful clutches. Breeding success was low (37%) with predation (33%) and clutch desertion (17%) accounting for the majority of failed nests. The probabilities of nest failure and nest desertion increased with a delayed onset of egg laying. Predation was not significantly associated with egg laying date and vegetation cover, but late breeders nesting in dense vegetation seemed to suffer less predation. Conspecific brood parasitism was positively associated with nest size, whereas interspecific brood parasitism was marginally associated with water depth. We discuss different hypotheses concerning nest desertion, and argue that illegal hunting and disturbance may best explain why birds desert their nests.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)

Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca (photo: Tony Smith, in flickr CC BY)


Les facteurs déterminants le succès de reproduction de la Tourterelle des bois (Streptopelia turtur) dans un milieu agricole Nord-Africain

Kafi, F., Hanane, S., Bensouilah, T., Zeraoula, A., Brahmia, H. & Houhamdi, M. 2015. Les facteurs déterminants le succès de reproduction de la Tourterelle des bois (Streptopelia turtur) dans un milieu agricole Nord-Africain. Revue d’Ecologie (Terre et Vie) 70 (3): 271-279.
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Determinants of nesting success in Turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) in a North-African agricultural area. Determining the effects of environmental factors on nesting success of migrant and breeding game birds is paramount especially in man-made environments. Using Poisson regression, we investigated the influence on the number of chicks fledged per nest (N = 207) of nest placement, proximity of cereal crops and water sources, taking into account possible phenological and spatial differences between the five studied orchards. The best model, selected by Akaike criterion, shows positive linear effects of distance from the nest to the trunk, to closest cereal crops and a quadratic effect of nest height (with an optimum at 1.6m). In Guelma’s orange groves, nest placement and proximity to cereal crops have a direct impact on the productivity of Turtle doves. Further researches on other tree species (fruit and forest ones) are necessary to: (i) assess their importance for breeding Turtle doves and (ii) determine the effect of environmental variables on the maintenance of the species.


Connaître les effets des facteurs écologiques sur le succès de la reproduction de l’avifaune migratrice nicheuse est primordial particulièrement dans les milieux artificialisés. Nous avons étudié, au moyen de régressions de Poisson, l’influence de l’emplacement des nids sur les arbres, de la proximité aux cultures céréalière et aux points d’eau sur le nombre de jeunes à l’envol par nid (N=207), en tenant compte de possibles différences phénologiques et spatiales entre les cinq vergers étudiés. Le meilleur modèle, sélectionné sur la base du critère d’Akaike, montre des effets linéaires positifs de la distance du nid au tronc et aux plus proches cultures céréalières, et un effet quadratique de la hauteur du nid (avec un optimum à 1,6m). Dans les orangeraies de Guelma, le positionnement des nids et leur proximité aux cultures céréalières ont une incidence directe sur la productivité totale des Tourterelles des bois. La poursuite des recherches sur d’autres supports de nidification (arbres fruitiers et forestiers) s’avère nécessaire pour : (i) évaluer leur importance pour la reproduction de l’espèce et (ii) connaître l’effet des variables environnementales sur le maintien de l’espèce.

Tourterelle des bois (Streptopelia turtur), Algérie

Tourterelle des bois (Streptopelia turtur), Algérie (photo: Taamallah Chamsi)

Breeding biology of sympatric Laughing (Streptopelia senegalensis) and Turtle (Streptopelia turtur) Doves in NE Algeria

Brahmia, H., Zeraoula, A., Bensouilah, T., Bouslama, Z., & Houhamdi, M. 2015. Breeding biology of sympatric Laughing Streptopelia senegalensis and Turtle Streptopelia turtur Dove: a comparative study in northeast Algeria. Zoology and Ecology  25(3): 220–226.   doi: 10.1080/21658005.2015.1049470
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The Turtle Dove and Laughing Dove display distinct behavior and are morphologically and genetically different. However, microhabitat selection and reproductive success details of the two species are still poorly studied. The geographic distribution of the Laughing Dove in North Africa has clearly expanded nowadays. The breeding ecology and nest placement of this species have been studied previously, but little is currently known about its life history in Algeria. This study aimed to provide the basic information on the breeding biology of the Laughing Dove in Algeria. During two consecutive breeding seasons (2013–2014), the clutch size, brood size, chick survival, timing of breeding, densities of breeding pairs, nest placement, and the main causes of nest failure of the sympatric Laughing Dove and Turtle Dove were studied in an olive orchard in Guelma region, northeast Algeria. Clutch size, brood size, chick survival, the estimated productivity, and nest placement of the two species were similar but timing of breeding and population densities were significantly different. Finally, the largely coincident egg-laying period and the similar clutch size of the two species seem to be the main factors behind their similar survival rate and productivity in our study area.

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), Helwan, Egypt

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), Helwan, Egypt (Rachid H., flickr)