Variation in the diet of Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) at Lake Réghaïa, Algeria

Lardjane-Hamiti, A., Metna, F., Boukhemza, M., Merabet, S., & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Variation in the diet of Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus (Aves, Rallidae) at Lake Réghaïa, Algeria. Zoology and Ecology 25: 227–234.
doi: 10.1080/21658005.2015.1046270
PDF in Research Gate.net

Abstract:

The diet of the Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus was studied at Lake Réghaïa (Algeria). A total of 600 faecal samples were collected from February 2010 to January 2012. The results showed that green plant materials (especially Poaceae) were the dominant faecal components (86.7 ± 23.8%), followed by invertebrates (13.2 ± 23.8%) and grit (0.03 ± 0.05%). Seventeen plant species belonging to eight different families were identified in 2010/2012. The major item identified in faecal contents was Poaceae. Paspalum distichum was the most important diet category. Others grasses mostly eaten were Poa annua, Avena sp., Phragmites sp. and Panicum repens. Other plant species recorded in faeces were Carex hispida, Polygonum lapathifolium, Thypha angustifolia, Plantago major, Mentha pulegium, Plantago crassifolia, Panicum repens and Carex hispida. The Common Moorhen diet contained invertebrates, and ephippium of Daphnia sp. were the most dominant. Insects were recorded, but with a negligible proportion.

Nest-site selection, breeding success and brood parasitism in the common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) in Algeria

Meniaia, Z., Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2014). Nest-site selection, breeding success and brood parasitism in the common moorhen Gallinula chloropus in Algeria. Zoology and Ecology 24: 305–313. doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.959281
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract :

Between 2010 and 2012, we studied the breeding ecology of the common moorhen Gallinula chloropus at Lake Tonga, north-east Algeria. Nests were low lying (mean ± SD = 13.64 ± 5.07 cm) and located in tall, dense stands of Scirpus lacustris (72%). The egg-laying period was relatively short, between mid-April and the end of June, peaking in the first half of May. The mean overall clutch size ± SD was 7.03 ± 2.52 (N = 58 clutches) with a slight seasonal downward trend. Rates of successful clutches increased with egg-laying date and water depth mainly due to the seasonal decrease in nest predation and nest flooding. Nest predation, in contrast to nest flooding, was also negatively associated with water depth. The study documented relatively frequent cases of conspecific brood parasitism as well as rarely reported events of interspecific brood parasitism involving the common moorhen both as a host and as a parasite of other avian species.

Related:

Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2013). Status and breeding ecology of the Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus in Algeria. Ostrich 84 (2): 137-144.

Nest of Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) with an egg and a chick

Nest of Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) with an egg and a chick (Z. Meniaia et al. 2014).

Status and breeding ecology of the Common Moorhen in Algeria

Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2013). Status and breeding ecology of the Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus in Algeria. Ostrich 84: 137-144.
doi:10.2989/00306525.2013.823130
PDF  in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The status of the Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus in Algeria and its breeding ecology in North Africa are reported for the first time. Nest site selection and breeding parameters were studied at two contrasting sites in north-east Algeria: Boussedra, an unprotected freshwater marsh of 55 ha subject to anthropogenic influence, during 2005 and 2008, and Lake Tonga, a protected freshwater marsh of 2 400 ha in 2009. Most nests (92%) at Boussedra were located in dense stands of lesser bulrush Typha angustifolia, whereas a few were found on lower branches of tamarisk Tamarix gallica trees. In contrast, at Lake Tonga nests were predominantly found on Scirpus lacustris (41%) or associated with alder trees Alnus glutinosa (32%). Egg-laying at both sites occurred between early April and the end of June. There was a significant decrease in egg volume as the breeding season progressed. Mean clutch size at Lake Tonga (7.8 ± 2.9, N = 23 clutches) did not differ significantly from that at Boussedra (6.7 ± 2.1, N = 14 clutches). Similarly, hatching success (67 –72%) and predation rate of nests with eggs (16–28%) did not vary significantly between sites. The Common Moorhen may be more resilient than marsh specialists to anthropogenic changes.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) in its nest

Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) at its nest. (Peter aka anemoneprojectors on Flickr, license: CC-by-sa)