Species richness patterns of waterbirds wintering in the gulf of Gabès in relation to habitat and anthropogenic features

Hamza, F., Hammouda, A. & Selmi, S. (2015). Species richness patterns of waterbirds wintering in the gulf of Gabès in relation to habitat and anthropogenic features. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 165: 254-260.
doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2015.05.025
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

Identifying factors affecting waterbird diversity is a major topic in avian ecology, as well as for conservation purposes. In this work, we investigated the relevance of habitat features and human presence in predicting the diversity of waterbirds wintering in the gulf of Gabès, an important but poorly known wintering area of palearctic waterbirds. This includes two major sources of bias in macroecological studies, namely species imperfect detection and spatial non-independence among sampled communities. Our results showed that species richness overall varied among sites according to habitat quality and tidal area use by humans. In particular, large intertidal areas, characterized by high numbers of tidal channels, elevated amounts of mud and organic materials in the sediment and important coverage of seagrass, hosted a greater diversity of waterbirds with different ecological requirements than did the small and relatively homogeneous sandy beaches. Moreover, we found that intertidal area use by humans for clam harvesting was associated with high diversity of waterbirds, particularly shorebirds, suggesting positive effects of clam harvesting on shorebirds. Further investigations of habitat selection processes and foraging behaviors are however needed to more profoundly understand the role of traditional human activities in the intertidal areas of the gulf of Gabès in shaping wintering waterbird communities.

Calidris alba (Sanderling - Bécasseau sanderling): ringed in Iceland in 2011, and wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

Sanderling (Calidris alba). This bird was ringed in Iceland in 2011, and wintering in the gulf of Gabès, Tunisia, January 2013. (Foued Hamza / Birding in Tunisia).

Factors influencing species-richness of breeding waterbirds in Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands

Cherkaoui, S. I., Hanane, S., Magri, N., El Agbani, M.-A. & Dakki, M. (2015). Factors influencing species-richness of breeding waterbirds in Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands: a macroecological approach. Wetlands 35(5): 913–922.
doi: 10.1007/s13157-015-0682-y

Abstract:

Since 2005, Morocco has designated 28 Important Bird Areas (IBA) and Ramsar wetlands for waterbirds, yet little is known about how waterbird communities are changing over time and space, within and between sites. We assessed the relationships between species numbers of overall breeding waterbirds, as well as those of Anatidae, Rallidae and Podicipedidae, and geographical, topographical and macrohabitat factors. Species richness of overall waterbirds and Anatidae were positively correlated with: (i) extent of emergent vegetation, (ii) number of plant species present, and (iii) altitude. Species richness of Rallidae was positively correlated with: (i) latitude, and (ii) different beds of emergent vegetation, while that of Podicipedidae was exclusively correlated with altitude. These results suggest that breeding waterfowl are significantly related to habitat characteristics, most importantly vegetation structure, and altitude. Our findings give support to the idea that large mountain wetlands protected areas provide valuable habitat to breeding waterbirds in this region, by providing larger buffer zones with fewer human activities, such as hunting, urbanization and tourism disturbance. This study provides a platform from which we can advance the scientific research on Moroccan IBA and Ramsar wetlands.

Caractérisation de la faune ornithologique des Monts de l’Ourit dans le Parc National de Tlemcen

Benamammar, H. 2014. Caractérisation de la faune Ornithologique des Monts de l’Ourit dans le Parc National de Tlemcen. Magister en foresterie, Université Abou Bekr Belkaid, Tlemcen.

PDF (5.23 Mb) in Dépôt de l’Université Abou Bekr Belkaid Tlemcen.

Résumé :

L’étude ornithologique des Monts de l’Ourit (Parc national de Tlemcen, Algérie) présentée dans ce mémoire se propose deux buts essentiels :

1. Reconnaitre la diversité spécifique de la classe des Oiseaux diurnes,

2. Proposer, suite à une succincte évaluation patrimoniale, une stratégie que le Parc national pourrait adopter pour préserver ce patrimoine ornithologique.

Des méthodologies adaptées aux milieux rencontrés ont permis de constater que 62 espèces d’oiseaux vivent sur une surface totale de 620 ha, et se repartissent dans l’espace selon une logique écologique : milieux forestiers, milieux agricoles, ripisylve, falaises et éboulis.

Dans le contexte actuel de la préservation des milieux naturels et des espèces, le site des Monts de l’Ourit semble être l’un des très rares sites de la région à abriter quelques-unes des espèces les plus menacées dans le Monde ; et il fait partie d’un réseau d’habitats écologiquement fonctionnel qu’il faudrait dores-et-déjà inclure dans la zone intégrale du Parc National.

Aigle royal (Aquila chrysaetos) adulte du mont Taksempt, à l’oued du Parc National de Tlemcen

Aigle royal (Aquila chrysaetos) adulte du mont Taksempt, à l’oued du Parc National de Tlemcen. (Hafeda Benamammar)

Use of habitats by resident and migrant birds in and around a golf course on the Atlantic coast of Morocco

Greig-Smith, P. W. (2014). Use of habitats by resident and migrant birds in and around a golf course on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Bird Study 61(1): 111–120. doi:10.1080/00063657.2014.882289

Abstract:

Capsule: Woodland bird species were more diverse and more frequently encountered on a Golf Course than in nearby habitats.

Aims: To assess the occurrence of woodland birds in the recently created Mogador Golf Course compared to surrounding undeveloped woodland.

Methods: Bird surveys were carried out in four seasons between October 2011 and July 2012, using one-minute point counts to compile species lists for the Golf Course and nearby Woodland. Data were analysed by ANOVA to detect differences between areas and among seasons, for individual species and for the average number of species per count.

Results: Sixty-six percent of species encountered were in both areas, but 29% were only on the Golf Course. The range of species was higher in all seasons for the Golf Course, and over the whole year was almost twice as large. More species were recorded per one minute count in the Golf Course (4.44 ± 0.12) than in Woodland (3.56 ± 0.15). Eight of nine species were more frequently recorded in Golf Course counts.

Conclusion: Establishment of the Golf Course has benefited both resident and migrant birds, owing to creation of new habitats (golf fairways and lakes), irrigation, prevention of grazing and retention of previous habitat.

Mogador Golf Course, Atlantic coast of Morocco

Mogador Golf Course, Atlantic coast of Morocco

Habitat selection and partitioning of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse, the Stone Curlew and the Cream-coloured Courser in arid areas of North Africa

Traba, J., Acebes, P., Malo, J. E., García, J. T., Carriles, E., Radi, M., & Znari, M. (2013). Habitat selection and partitioning of the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), the Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) and the Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor) in arid areas of North Africa. Journal of Arid Environments 94: 10-17.

Abstract:

Niche theory predicts that coexisting species with similar trophic requirements should demonstrate resource partitioning, particularly where resources are scarce. Conversely, this is not expected between species that do not share primary resources. This study analyses the patterns of spatial coexistence and habitat selection, on two spatial scales, of three species of semidesert regions in Morocco: the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), the Stone Curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus) and the Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor). Co-occurrence analysis results point to between-species segregation on a macrohabitat scale. Hotelling’s T test of the species-presence data showed a pattern of macrohabitat selection that diverged from habitat availability for the three species with differences among them. Both the classification tree and the pattern of microhabitat selection obtained by model averaging showed scant overlap between the Sandgrouse and the Courser, suggesting habitat partitioning between them on a fine scale. Our results confirm spatial segregation of the three species, especially between species with different trophic strategies: the Sandgrouse versus the Stone Curlew and the Courser. The latter two species were best segregated on a microhabitat scale, supporting the conclusions that macro- and microhabitat selection are major factors in bird community configuration in arid ecosystems and contributing to reduce potential competition.

Highlights:

► The three steppe-bird species show a low level of overlap at the macrohabitat scale.

► Granivorous species shows habitat segregation from insectivorous ones at macro and microhabitat.

► Insectivorous species show habitat partitioning only at microhabitat scale.

► Segregation is mainly based on abiotic factors such as topography and surface structure.

Habitats utilisés par le Tadorne casarca dans la zone humide d’Aguelmam Sidi Ali, Moyen Atlas, Maroc

Khaffou, M., Chahlaoui, A. & Samih, M. (2013). Les habitats utilisés par le Tadorne casarca (Tadorna ferruginea) dans la zone humide d’Aguelmam Sidi Ali – Site Ramsar – Moyen Atlas – Maroc. Int. J. Biol. Chem. Sci. 7 (2): 598-606.
doi: 10.4314/ijbcs.v7i2.16 (Abstract & PDF)

Résumé :

Les habitats utilisés par le Tadorne casarca Tadorna ferruginea dans la zone humide d’Aguelmam Sidi Ali ont été étudiés durant la période allant du mois d’octobre 2010 au mois de septembre 2011. Ces habitats sont divisés en 5 types, selon leurs caractéristiques: les bords des lacs, les eaux profondes, les prairies avec ruisseaux de Taânzoulte, les marécages temporaires et la cédraie. Les prairies avec ruisseaux, les marécages et les bords des lacs qui sont riches en ressources alimentaires, facilement accessibles, sont les préférés par le Tadorne casarca. Les eaux profondes constituent un refuge en cas de dérangement et aussi pour la sauvegarde des poussins. La forêt du cèdre est devenue l’unique endroit pour sa nidification. Une délimitation des endroits pour chaque activité humaine, en tenant compte des habitats est à prévoir pour réduire les menaces humaines sur le Tadorne casarca au niveau de la zone d’étude.