Radi, M., Aourir, M., Qninba, A., El Mouden, H. & Znari, M. 2017. Premières données sur la reproduction de la Mouette rieuse Chroicocephalus ridibundus dans le centre-ouest du Maroc. Alauda 85: 131-138.
First breeding data on the Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus in Central West Morocco.
This study presents the first data on a breeding colony of the Black-headed Gull on islets of the Al Massira reservoir in central west Morocco from 2002 to 2008. Laying phenology, nesting site selection, clutch size, egg size and breeding success were investigated. These data provide new information at the southwestern limit of the species’ breeding area (32° N).
Mouette rieuse (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), Lac Telamine, Gdyel (Oran), Algérie, 20/06/2016 (Ali Mehadji)
Bouriach, M., Samraoui, F., Souilah, R., Houma, I., Razkallah, I., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2015). Does core-periphery gradient determine breeding performance in a breeding colony of White Storks Ciconia ciconia? Acta Ornithologica 50: 149–156. doi: 10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.2.003
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The timing of breeding and nest location in colonial birds may have fitness consequences. In particular, it has been demonstrated that peripheral breeders perform less well than core breeders. To determine whether environmental factors such as date of breeding and nest position influence reproductive success, we studied the breeding ecology of a large colony of White Stork Ciconia ciconia at Dréan, northeast Algeria, during 2011 and 2012. Mean egg-laying dates varied significantly between years and differed between core and peripheral nests with more precocious laying occurring in the center. Egg-laying in larger nests started earlier than in smaller ones in the core area but neither nest size nor nest position along the core-periphery gradient had any influence on studied breeding parameters i.e. clutch size, hatching success and chick productivity. There was no yearly difference in clutch size which averaged 4.7 ± 0.7 eggs (N = 156 clutches). Mean chick productivity was higher in 2012 (2.85 ± 1.21 chicks) than in 2011 (2.29 ± 2.28 chicks) and was marginally associated with egg-laying date. In contrast, nesting success declined with delayed onset of breeding. Results suggest that a low predation rate, abundant resources and a possible trade-off between fitness components may confound adaptive breeding-habitat selection in White Stork.
Young White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest (Frans de Wit, CC-by-nc-nd license)
Sbiki, M., Chenchouni, H. & Si Bachir, A. (2015). Population increase and nest-site selection of Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis at a new colony in drylands of north-east Algeria. Ostrich 86(3): 231–237. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2015.1067931
Colony occupation by Cattle Egrets Bubulcus ibis at an arid location in north-east Algeria lasted from mid-March or April to August. The colony, which was founded in 2003, increased from 124 pairs in 2007 to 250 pairs in 2011 and the density of nests from 0.36 to 0.73 nests m−2 in the same period. The number of trees used for nesting increased from 16 trees in 2007 to 40 in 2011. The average height of nesting trees ranged from 12.8 士 3.0 m in 2007 to 13.6 土 2.9 m in 2011, whereas the average height of nests varied between 11.5 土 2.5 m and 13.2 土 2.9 m. Cattle Egrets built their nests mainly on strong primary branches of trees (30%) or secondary branches at the periphery of the tree’s crown (29%). Numbers of nests sited in a tree were significantly influenced by the species of tree and the diameters of its trunk and crown, as well as by the horizontal and vertical positions of nests within the tree.
Cheriet, S., Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2015). Factors affecting nesting success in the Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus at Lake Tonga, north-east Algeria. Ostrich 86(3): 239-245. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2015.1067932
PDF in ResearchGate.net
The breeding ecology of the Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus was investigated over four consecutive years (2009-2012) at Lake Tonga, north-east Algeria. In all four years, the egg-laying period was relatively short, spanning two months (end of March to end of May), and bimodal. Nests were mainly located in Phragmites australis, over water of substantial depth (178 ± 43 cm, N=209), far from the shore and in habitat with low vegetation cover (12.37 ± 7.67%, N=209). The overall clutch size was 3.73 ± 0.92 eggs (N=127) and it decreased marginally over time. The overall nesting success was 70.4% (N=209), with nest failure caused mainly by predation (65%) and flooding (23%). Breeding outcome was significantly and positively related to nest size, with bigger nests conferring better survival to eggs and young probably through affording better protection during spells of adverse weather. However, the benefits of bigger nests may be confounded by the age or intrinsic quality of birds. The location of nests in P. australis, rather than other vegetation types, increased nesting success marginally but significantly. Two cases of interspecific mixed clutches involving the Great-crested Grebe were recorded.
Samraoui, F., Nedjah, R., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. 2015. An overview of the Rallidae of Algeria with particular reference to the breeding ecology of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio. Wetlands Ecology and Management 23: 505-517. doi: 10.1007/s11273-014-9404-0
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Rallids are good biological models to monitor anthropogenic changes to wetlands. The distribution of the Rallidae was mapped up during a survey of all major wetlands across Algeria and nest site selection, phenology, and breeding parameters of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio were monitored at two distinct sites under contrasting conditions. Data were collected at Boussedra, an unprotected freshwater marsh during the years 2005 and 2008, and at Lake Tonga, a protected freshwater marsh during 2009. The onset of egg-laying was found to occur earlier (mid-February) than was recorded previously (end-March). There was much variation in the egg laying patterns and in the clutch sizes which dropped significantly from 5.8 ± 0.9 (Boussedra 2009) to 3.4 ± 0.9 (Boussedra 2008) and 3.9 ± 1.0 (Tonga 2009). This study, the first investigation of the ecology and conservation of the Purple Swamp-Hen in North Africa, suggests a decline in breeding success associated with steady habitat loss and ineffective enforcement of legislation.
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
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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.
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 (Z. Meniaia et al. 2014).
Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H., & Samraoui, B. (2013). Status and breeding ecology of the Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus in Algeria. Ostrich 84: 137-144.
PDF in ResearchGate.net
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.