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.

Le Gypaète barbu (Gypaetus barbatus) dans le Parc National de Theniet El Had (Algérie)

Djardini, L. Ouar, D. & Fellous, A. 2014. Le Gypaète barbu dans le ciel du Parc National de Theniet El Had. Atlantica (revue du P. N. de Theniet El Had) 1:  3-4.

Adults of Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) observed in the Theniet El Had National Park (northern Algeria) in springs of 2012 and 2014 (staff of the Theniet El Had N. P. and the ‘National Agency for the Conservation of Nature’, see the names in picture 2 under the title).

Extrait du texte :

“Le Parc National de Theniet El Had, connu sous la dénomination de Parc des Cèdres
“El Medad“, est situé dans la continuité de la ligne de reliefs et de montagnes des monts de l’Ouarsenis.

Il s’enorgueillit de détenir encore en son sein prés d’une douzaine de rapaces diurnes où “oiseaux de proies“ qui en tant que prédateurs supérieurs sont très sensibles et font figure d’indicateurs biologiques du bon fonctionnement des écosystèmes naturels.

Voici qu’un visiteur de marque vient d’apparaître dans le ciel du Parc de Theniet El Had : Le Gypaète barbu connu sous son nom scientifique de Gypaetus barbatus barbatus.

…………

Observations récentes :

De nouvelles observations supplémentaires aux printemps 2012 et 2014 d’adultes planant sur les hauteurs du Parc National de Theniet El Had, ont redonné du souffle à l’équipe du Parc afin d’approfondir ses connaissances sur ce très rare rapace particulièrement sur son utilisation du territoire, et sur ses corridors biologiques choisis.

Un travail d’investigation et de suivi et en cours d’élaboration”.

Les deux pages de Atlantica, la revue du Parc National de Theniet El Had:

Gypaète barbu (Gypaetus barbatus) dans le Parc National de Theniet El Had, Algérie
Le Gypaète barbu dans le ciel du Parc National de Theniet El Had (page 1)
Gypaète barbu (Gypaetus barbatus) dans le Parc National de Theniet El Had, Algérie
Le Gypaète barbu dans le ciel du Parc National de Theniet El Had (page 2)

Status and diurnal activity budget of non-breeding White-headed Ducks (Oxyura leucocephala) in Algeria

Meziane, N., Samraoui, F. & Samraoui, B. 2014. Status and diurnal activity budget of non-breeding White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala in Algeria. Ostrich 85: 177–184. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2014.964790
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

In Algeria, the Globally Endangered White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala is resident throughout the year in the coastal wetlands of north-east Algeria and the Hauts Plateaux, where it occupies habitats that range from freshwater ponds and brackish marshes to hypersaline lakes. In autumn and winter, at two study sites sleeping (49% and 68%) and resting (9% and 20%) dominated, whereas feeding (7% and 10%) represented a minor proportion of, diurnal activities. There was no marked seasonal change in the activity pattern, as would be expected for a resident bird. The breeding and winter distributions of the species were similar, but seasonal and diel patterns of dispersion among habitats remain poorly known. Human encroachment on wetland habitat, habitat degradation and illegal hunting in protected areas are the major threats to the persistence of the species and probably similar threatened species in Algeria.

Plus d’articles sur l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala).

White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)

White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (Wikimedia commons, user: BS Thurner Hof)

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) at Lebna dam, Cap Bon: 2nd for Tunisia

Un Vanneau sociable (Vanellus gregarius) observé en novembre 2014 au barrage Lebna, Cap Bon, nord de la Tunisie par Csaba Pigniczki et Mohamed Ali Dakhli.

A Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) observed in November 2014 at Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, northern Tunisia by Csaba Pigniczki and Mohamed Ali Dakhli. The team were surveying the coastal wetlands of Tunisia (from Bizerte to Zarzis) to count and read the colour-rings of the wintering Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) among other things. This is the second observation of this rare species in Tunisia, the first one was in March 1975 near Tabarka.

The Sociable Lapwing breeds in Kazakhstan and adjacent parts of Russia and winters in Sudan, Eritrea, eastern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and India (see map below). It is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN red list. In the western Mediterranean region, especially in the south, the species is a very rare visitor.

Thanks to both birdwatchers for the observation!

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarious), Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, Tunisia

Sociable Lapwing – Vanneau sociable (Vanellus gregarious), Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, northern Tunisia (photo: Csaba Pigniczki).

Sociable Lapwing - Vanneau sociable (Vanellus gregarious), Cap Bon, Tunisia

Sociable Lapwing – Vanneau sociable (Vanellus gregarious), Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, northern Tunisia. (photo: Csaba Pigniczki).

Global distribution of Sociable Lapwings (Vanellus gregarious) (map: BirdLife International).

Global distribution of Sociable Lapwings (Vanellus gregarious) (map: BirdLife International).

Le Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) est-il en expansion en Algérie?

Le Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) est en expansion dans quelques régions algériennes. Selon le témoignage de Mohamed Bestami, un activiste dans le domaine de la protection de l’environnent, l’espèce est en expansion dans la wilaya de M’Sila au nord de l’Algerie. Cependant, nous ne savons pas si cette observation reflète une augmentation nette de la population ou d’une tendance à observer plus de vautours dans les dépotoirs de la région. D’autres observateurs ont indiqué également que l’espèce est encore présente en grand nombre dans d’autres régions (Parn National du Djurdjura, Parc National de Belezma, Oum El-Bouaghi …), toutefois sans indiquer ni augmentation ni diminution.

En tout cas, l’Algérie accueille probablement la plus grande population du Vautour percnoptère dans le Maghreb (Maroc, Algérie, Tunisie et Lybie), et l’espèce est encore bien représentée dans plusieurs régions algériennes (voir photos ci-dessous).

Il faut rappeler que le Vautour percnoptère est classé dans la catégorie “En danger d’extinction” (Endangered) dans la liste rouge de l’IUCN.

Un grand merci à tous les photographes ainsi que à la page Facebook ‘To Save Wildlife in Algeria’.

The Egyptian Vulture (Neophron pernkopterus) is  it expanding in some Algerian regions? According to the statement of Mohamed Bestami, an activist in the field of environmental protection, the species is expanding in the province of M’Sila in northern Algeria. However, we do not know whether this observation reflects a net increase in the population or a tendency to observe more vultures in the rubbish dumps in the area. Other observers have indicated also that the species still present in good numbers in other regions (Djurdjura National Park, Belezma National park, Oum el-Bouaghi…), however, without indicating neither an increase or a decrease.

Anyway, Algeria has probably the largest population of the Egyptian vulture in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), and the species is still well represented in several Algerian regions (see photos below).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus), adulte et immature, Bou Saada, M'Sila

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus), adulte et immature, Bou Saada, M’Sila (photo: Mohamed Bestami).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus), 2 juvéniles et un adulte, Bou Saada, M'Sila

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus), 2 juvéniles et un adulte, Bou Saada, M’Sila (photo: Mohamed Bestami).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) juvénile, Bou Saada, M'Sila

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) juvénile, Bou Saada, M’Sila (photo: Mohamed Bestami).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) immature, Merahna, Souk Ahras

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) immature, Merahna, Souk Ahras, 11 juillet 2014. (photo: Salah Telailia / El-Tarf University).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Merahna, Souk Ahras. (photo: Salah Telailia / El-Tarf University)

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Merahna, Souk Ahras. (photo: Salah Telailia / El-Tarf University).

5 Vautours percnoptères (Neophron percnopterus) dans une décharge, Souk Ahras.

5 Vautours percnoptères (Neophron percnopterus) dans une décharge, Souk Ahras. (photo: Salah Telailia / El-Tarf University).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Béchar.

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Béchar. (photo: Redouane Tahri).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Djurdjura.

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Djurdjura. (photo: Sofiane Djebbara).

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Oum el-Bouaghi.

Vautour percnoptère (Neophron percnopterus) adulte, Oum el-Bouaghi. (photo: Menouar Saheb/ Oum el-Bouaghi University).

Diurnal wintering behaviour of the Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) in north-east Algeria

Aberkane, M., Maazi, M.-C., Chettibi, F., Guergueb, E.-Y., Bouslama, Z., & Houhamdi, M. (2014). Diurnal wintering behaviour of the Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) in north-east Algeria. Zoology and Ecology 24: 10-15 . doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.889870
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The Marbled Teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris, is a globally threatened species, especially in the Western Mediterranean. Its numbers are currently following a downward trend. The population size and status of the Marbled Teal are well estimated in some areas of its geographic range, but in others, such as Algerian wetlands, they are still not known. Population and time-activity budget estimation of the species were carried out in the semi-arid Ramsar wetland Garaet Timerganine located in north-east Algeria in the course of two subsequent wintering seasons. The wintering population showed a significant decrease in numbers from the first to the second year with peaks of 763 and 270 individuals, respectively. This variation was probably due to the abrupt water level rise in the wetland, scarcity of the vegetation cover and availability of many other wintering places following heavy rains in the second year. The time-activity budget was dominated by resting followed by swimming and feeding. Preening, flight and courting were rarely observed accounting for less than 5% of the whole diurnal activity budget. Although the species preferred shallow parts of the wetland, it also used terrestrial habitats near the shore.

Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris)

Marbled Duck or Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris). (Photo: Vince Smith in lickr, licence: CC-by-sa)