Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) in the wetland complex of Oued Righ, Algerian Sahara

Nouidjem, Y., Saheb, M., Bensaci, E., Bouzegag, A., Guergueb, E.-Y. & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the wetland complex of Oued Righ (Algerian Sahara). Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 26–33. doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.997995
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Our study conducted from August 2007 to May 2011 in the main wetlands of the Oued Righ complex (Eastern Sahara of Algeria) aimed to study the habitat use and distribution pattern of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea. As the species was recorded breeding at most sites of the wetland complex, it was given the resident breeder status, which differs from the one it had previously. The maximum number of Ruddy Shelducks (284 individuals) was recorded each year during the winter season (second half of December). The Ruddy Shelduck (60% of population) shows preference for shallow middle-sized salt ponds with a high proportion of open water (e.g. Chott Tindla and Chott Sidi Slimane). No interannual variations were observed in habitat use; moreover, seasonal variations in the use of shallow salt pond habitat may be the outcome of hot and dry climate of this arid region.

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Timgad, Batna, Algeria

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Timgad, (W. Batna), north-eastern Algeria. (photo: Raouf Guechi).