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).

L’avifaune aquatique de la zone littorale atlantique de Rabat-Bouznika (Maroc) : Composition, phénologie et reproduction

Hanane, S. 2014. L’avifaune aquatique de la zone littorale atlantique de Rabat-Bouznika (Maroc) : Composition, phénologie et reproduction. Thèse de Doctorat, Université Mohammed V–Agdal, Rabat.

PDF (6.75 Mb) in Toubkal : Le Catalogue National des Thèses et Mémoires.

Résumé:

Sur la zone littorale de Rabat-Bouznika, des dénombrements réguliers, de janvier 1999 à décembre 2001, ont permis de définir le rythme de migration des espèces d’oiseaux d’eau les plus fréquentes ainsi que leurs statuts phénologiques. Quarante neuf espèces ont fréquenté le site, dont 24 régulières. Les Limicoles et les Laridés sont les groupes les plus dominants. Le suivi de la reproduction a concerné l’Oedicnème criard, la Glaréole à collier, le Gravelot à collier interrompu et la Sterne naine. Ces quatre espèces déposent leurs œufs à même le sol avec une production d’œufs/nid qui avoisine 2 : 1,88 pour l’Oedicnème criard, 2,20 pour la Glaréole à collier, 2,89 pour le Gravelot à collier interrompu et 2,51 pour la Sterne naine. La ponte débute à la dernière décade de mars pour l’Oedicnème criard et le Gravelot à collier interrompu suivi, à la première quinzaine d’avril, par la Glaréole à collier et au début mai par la Sterne naine. Le maximum de l’activité reproductive est enregistrée durant les mois de mai et juin. La durée de la saison de reproduction est plus étalée chez les nicheurs sédentaires (Oedicnème criard et Gravelot à collier interrompu) que chez les migrateurs nicheurs (Glaréole à collier et Sterne naine). Le succès à l’éclosion a été de 49% chez la Glaréole à collier, de 51.5% chez la Sterne naine, de 58.4% chez le Gravelot à collier interrompu et de 71% chez l’Oedicnème criad. Sur cette portion de côte, les plus importants facteurs d’échec ont été le piétinement, le ramassage et l’abandon des œufs. Malgré ces sources de dérangements, la zone littorale de Rabat-Bouznika continue à accueillir une centaine de couples d’oiseaux d’eau nicheurs.

Eclosion des poussins

Eclosion des poussins.

Autres thèses et mémoires de Magister.

Breeding ecology studies of Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola in the Central Hauts Plateaux of Algeria

Benasci, E., Boutera, N. Cherief, A., Saheb, M, Moali, A. & Houhamdi, M. 2014. Breeding ecology studies of Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola in the Central Hauts Plateaux of Algeria. Wader Study Group Bulletin 121 (1): 43–48.
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The breeding biology of Collared Pratincoles Glareola pratincola was studied for the first time in Algeria in 2010 at a natural salt lake at Dayet El Kerfa, in the semi-arid Hauts Plateaux. The breeding attempts of 35 pairs on three different islets were monitored. The mean laying date was 13 May (range: 28 April to 2 June). Mean clutch size was 2.0, but 47% of the nests had one or three eggs. Hatching success was 97%; only one nest failed. Clutch size, egg size, nest dimensions and hatching success did not vary between nests placed in the centre of an islet and nests closer to the shore. Our study contrasts with results reported for other Mediterranean breeding areas (in Morocco, France and Spain), showing differences in laying dates, clutch size and laying period. The beginning of egg laying at Dayet El Kerfa was three weeks later than on the N Atlantic coast of Morocco (28 April at Dayet El Kerfa and 7 April in Morocco), three weeks earlier than in Spain and two weeks earlier than in France. Clutch sizes were smaller than in other breeding areas in the Mediterranean basin. The range of hatching dates (25 days) was less than half that reported for a coastal area in Morocco; this is probably related to the almost complete absence of nest predators at Dayet El Kerfa, so no pairs renested. The hatching success of 97% was the highest of all breeding sites in the Mediterranean basin.

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) (photo: Ferran Pestaña on flickr, license: CC-by-sa).

Etude de la phénologie migratoire des limicoles dans la lagune et les salines de Sidi Moussa, Maroc

Joulami, L., Rguibi Idrissi, H., Bazairi, H., Lopes, R.J. & El Hamoumi, R. 2013. Etude de la phénologie migratoire des limicoles dans la lagune et les salines de Sidi Moussa (Maroc). Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique, Rabat, section Sciences de la Vie 35: 131-140. PDF

Résumé:

Des dénombrements mensuels des limicoles ont été réalisés de mars 2010 à février 2012 dans la lagune de Sidi Moussa et les salines adjacentes. Au total 24 espèces ont été recensées dont trois espèces nicheuses régulières (Glareola pratincola, Charadrius alexandrinus et Himantopus himantopus). Les espèces les plus abondantes sont Calidris alpina, Charadrius hiaticula, Charadrius alexandrinus, Pluvialis squatarola, Himantopus himantopus et Tringa totanus. L’analyse des patterns migratoires des espèces n’ont pas montré de variations significatives entre les années contrairement à l’évolution des effectifs totaux des limicoles qui enregistrent des variations marquant les différentes saisons du cycle phénologique des espèces. Les effectifs les plus élevés sont notés durant la migration postnuptiale (automne). Ils vont par la suite enregistrer une diminution pour se stabiliser durant la période d’hivernage. Les déplacements prénuptiaux ne sont pas bien décelés. Une légère augmentation des effectifs est notée en février marquant le début de passage de retour. Certaines espèces peuvent laisser sur place de faibles contingents d’estivants. C’est le cas du Bécasseau variable qui montre une forte corrélation avec l’effectif total et du Chevalier gambette avec un début d’estivage précoce (mai). Les deux espèces nicheuses, l’Echasse blanche et le Gravelot à collier interrompu évoluent différemment dans le site. Au moment où la première espèce ne marque aucune variation saisonnière, la deuxième enregistre des passages migratoires notoires pour se stabiliser lors de l’hivernage et de l’estivage. Les effectifs du Pluvier argenté notés en estivage montrent des différences significatives avec ceux notés durant les autres saisons du cycle phénologique, marquées par une certaine stabilité. Pour le Grand Gravelot, les effectifs enregistrés en estivage montrent des différences significatives uniquement avec ceux de la migration postnuptiale.

Study of the migratory waders phenology in the lagoon and salines of Sidi Moussa (Morocco).

Abstract:

Monthly counts of waders were conducted from March 2010 to February 2012 in Sidi Moussa lagoon and adjacent salines. In total 24 species were identified, including three regular breeding species in the site (Glareola pratincola, Charadrius alexandrinus and Himantopus himantopus). The most abundant species are Calidris alpina, Charadrius hiaticula, Charadrius alexandrinus, Pluvialis squatarola, Himantopus himantopus and Tringa totanus. The analysis of migration patterns of the species did not show significant variations between years in contrast to the trends in total numbers of waders that showed marked variations between the different seasons of the annual cycle of the species. The highest numbers are recorded during the autumn passage. Numbers will subsequently decrease and stabilize during the wintering season. Prenuptial movements are not well detected. A slight increase in numbers was noticed in February marking the beginning of the return passage. Some species can leave on the site small flocks of summering individuals. This is the case of Dunlin which shows a strong correlation with the total numbers and the Redshank with an early summering (May). Both breeding species, Black-winged Stilt and the Kentish Plover evolve differently in the site. When no seasonal variation was noted for the first species, migration passages are well marked for the second and numbers stabilize during the wintering and summering. The Grey Plover numbers noted during the summer show significant differences with those recorded during other seasons of the annual cycle, marked by certain stability. For Ringed Plover, numbers recorded in summer showed significant differences only with those of the autumn passage.

Related papers:

El Malki, S., Hanane, S. Joulami, L. & El Hamoumi, R. 2013. Nesting performance of the Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole on a Moroccan coastal wetland: a comparison between natural and artificial habitats. Wader Study Group Bulletin 120 (1): 47–52.

Sidi Moussa lagoon and salines

Sidi Moussa lagoon and salines

Genetic variability in the Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus)

Mori, A., Baldaccini, N. E., Baratti, M., Caccamo, C., Dessì-Fulgheri, F., Grasso, R., Nouira, S., Ouni, R., Pollonara, E., Rodriguez-Godoy, F.,Spena, M.T., Giunchi, D. (2014). A first assessment of genetic variability in the Eurasian Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus. Ibis 156(3): 687–692. doi:10.1111/ibi.12164

Abstract:

The Eurasian Stone-curlew is a species of conservation concern in Europe. We investigate for the first time the extent of population structure among populations sampled from six geographical areas, representing four subspecies inhabiting the western part of the species’ distribution. Neither mitochondrial nor nuclear markers fully supported current subspecies boundaries. However, both markers support significant differentiation of the Canary Island populations from those sampled from the Mediterranean. Further work is needed to establish the taxonomic status of this potentially distinct Macaronesian taxon. More broadly, further genetic research is required to design and implement an effective conservation plan for this species.

 

Nesting of Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole on a Moroccan coastal wetland

El Malki, S., Hanane, S. Joulami, L. & El Hamoumi, R. 2013. Nesting performance of the Black-winged Stilt and Collared Pratincole on a Moroccan coastal wetland: a comparison between natural and artificial habitats. Wader Study Group Bulletin 120 (1): 47–52.
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

In 2011, we investigated the breeding performance of two wader species, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus and Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola in a natural habitat, marshes, and in an artificial one, salinas (saltpans), in the Sidi Moussa-Walidia wetland complex on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Data on nest-placement, clutch-size, egg-dimensions, nest-density, egg-laying chronology and hatching-success were collected from 117 nests: 31 of Black-winged Stilt (25 in marshes and 6 in salinas) and 86 of Collared Pratincole (36 in marshes and 50 in salinas). The results show no consistent differences in nest-density, clutch-size, egg-dimensions or nesting success between the two habitats. However, in both habitat types and species, variations were found in the distribution of nest initiation over the breeding season. Both habitats appeared to provide similar nesting conditions for Black-winged Stilts and Collared Pratincoles. Nonetheless, further research is needed to determine the combined effects of human disturbances and local predators on nest site selection and reproductive performance on these species in the two habitats. These studies will also facilitate management decisions aimed at maximising both gains to avian biodiversity and enhancing the welfare of people.