Le statut de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) dans les zones humides du nord-est algérien

Halassi, I., Elafri, A., Belhamra, M. & Houhamdi, M. (2016). Répartition et abondance de l’Érismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala dans les zones humides du nord-est algérien. Alauda 84: 25–34.
PDF in ResearchGate


Status of the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala in Northeast Algeria. The globally threatened White-headed Duck is one the most rare duck species in the Western Palearctic. Its distribution in Algeria is mainly restricted to the northeastern part of the country and the Hauts-Plateaux. In 2013 and 2014, 694 individuals were counted. The studied sites harboured distinct numbers in winter and in summer of the two years. The p-values (Kruskal Wallis test) were lower than 0.05. The Lake Tonga showed the highest numbers in winter and the Boussedra wetland in summer. The results indicated a stable occurrence in the studied areas without any difference between the two years. The PCA analysis showed a significant correlation between the distribution of this species and three following main factors: vegetation, surface area and water depth at the Boussedra wetland, Lake Tonga and Garaet Hadj-Taher. The lower occurrence in other parts of the studied areas, particularly on the Hauts-Plateaux, is mainly the consequence of drying out process and habitat degradation.

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta, Mostaganem, Algérie (‎Ali Mehadji‎)

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta, Mostaganem, Algérie (‎photo: Ali Mehadji‎)

Phenology and diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) in the Guerbes-Sanhadja wetland complex (north-eastern Algeria)

Amor Abda, W., Merzoug, S., Belhamra, M. & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Phenology and diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata in the Guerbes-Sanhadja wetland complex (north-eastern Algeria). Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 19–25.  doi: 10.1080/21658005.2014.994361
PDF in ResearchGate.net


An ecological study of the Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata in the wetlands of the Guerbes-Sanhadja eco-complex (Skikda, north-eastern Algeria) which was performed during wintering season (from September 2012 to March 2013) showed that the species was regularly wintering in these ecosystems during the seven months of observation. The highest numbers were recorded during December 2012 (1943 individuals) at Garaet Hadj-Taher, although this wetland was the last to be colonized if we compare it to other wetlands. Garaet Hadj-Taher hosted more than half of the wintering population of the Northern Shoveler in the Guerbes-Sanhadja eco-complex. Sleeping activity (diurnal resting) dominated over other diurnal behaviours of this Anatidea at Garaet Hadj-Taher by representing almost two-thirds of total results (63.74%). This activity was observed among gathered individuals in the centre of this wetland. The second place was taken by swimming (15.10%) followed by preening (10.49%), feeding (7.03%) and finally flying (3.64%), showing the results of diurnal counting for the Northern Shoveler in Garaet Hadj-Taher and all other wetlands in the Guerbes-Sanhadja complex.

Eco-ethology of the wintering Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) in Garaet Hadj Tahar, Northeast of Algeria

Merzoug, S. E., Amor Abda, W., Belhamra, M., & Houhamdi, M. (2014). Eco-ethology of the wintering ferruginous duck Aythya nyroca (Anatidae) in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Guerbes-Sanhadja, Northeast of Algeria). Zoology and Ecology 24 (4): 297-304.   doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.953800


The ecology (phenology and diurnal eco-ethology) of the ferruginous duck Aythya nyroca was studied during three seasons of its wintering (2010/2011, 2011/2012, and 2012/2013) in Garaet Hadj Tahar (a Ramsar site since 2001 with an area of 120 ha, complex of Guerbes-Sanhadja, Skikda, Northeast of Algeria). The maximum number of ferruginous ducks recorded there in December 2012 was 605 individuals. This figure includes the total number of these birds in two populations living at the site: the first one is a nesting sedentary population consisting of about 20 pairs, and the second one, more numerous, frequents the center of this wetland only in wintering seasons. The study of the rhythm of diurnal activities showed that sleeping is the dominant activity of ferruginous ducks accounting for 42.5% of their time budget. It is followed by activities of swimming (20.6%), feeding (19.3%), cleaning (9.3%), and finally, flying (7.7%). Parading constitutes a very small proportion of the time-activity budget of ducks and was not observed until the end of the wintering season. Also, the current study has revealed the role of this wetland in diurnal recovery of ferruginous ducks.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca). (Photo: Alessandro Musicorio, flickr CC-by-sa).

Diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveller in winter at two Algerian wetlands: Garaet Hadj-Tahar and Garaet Timerganine

Metallaoui, S., Maazi, M.C., Saheb, M., Houhamdi, M., & Barbraud, C. (2014). A comparative study of the diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) during the wintering season at Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Algerian highlands). Turkish Journal of Zoology 38: 158-167.  doi:10.3906/zoo-1212-1   PDF 


The rhythms of the Northern Shoveler’s (Anas clypeata Linnaeus, 1758) activities during its wintering period in 2 wetlands, Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands), were studied during 2 wintering seasons in Garaet Hadj-Tahar from November 2007 to March 2008 and November 2008 to March 2009, and in the Timerganine wetland from November 2007 to March 2008. They were linked to certain spatiotemporal variables, i.e. daytime activities and 2 different wetlands. During the wintering season, the main activity at Garaet Hadj-Tahar was sleeping (70%), followed by swimming (12%). By contrast, feeding was the dominant activity at Garaet Timerganine, occurring 45% of the total monitoring time, followed by sleeping (35%). The frequency of the behaviours did not differ significantly between the sites as a function of the date (P > 0.05). The choice of the site was made according to either the feeding resources or the resting place. These factors are therefore essential and highlight the importance of the protection of the sites where the species is concentrated outside of the breeding period.

Garaet Hadj-Tahar, Skikda, North-East Algeria

Garaet Hadj-Tahar, Skikda, North-East Algeria (S. Metallaoui et al.)

Garaet Timerganine, Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands

Garaet Timerganine, Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands (S. Metallaoui et al.)

Phenology and Diurnal Behavior of the Tufted Duck in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Numidia, NE Algeria)

Atoussi, S., Bara, M. & Houhamdi, M. 2013. Phenology and diurnal behavior of the Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Occidental Numidia, Northeast Algeria). Journal Academica 3 (2): 117-126. PDF


In order to evaluate the number of Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula and its diurnal behavior in Garaet Hadj Tahar (Guerbes-Sanhadja wetlands, Northeast Algeria), this study was carried out during the wintering period (from November to April) in the years 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The peak of the number observed during whole study period was recorded in December 2008 with a value of 100 individuals. The sleeping is the dominant diurnal behavior of the Tufted Duck (32%) followed by the swimming (31%) and feeding (2 5%). These comfort activities are done during the cold period in order to preserve the energetic stock.

Garaet Hadj Tahar

View of the Garaet Hadj Tahar (Sadek Atoussi, 2010)

Thanks to El-Yamine Guergueb (Association Nationale Algérienne d’Ornithologie) for mentioning this article.

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.