Hivernage de l’Erismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) en Algérie

New data on the wintering of White-headed Ducks Oxyura leucocephala in Algeria

Abstract:

Winter census of the White-headed Duck in the wetlands where this species may occur allowed us to update the numbers present in winter in this country. A certain stability in winter numbers (around 1,000 individuals) was observed. Within the 240 censused sites, only some 20 harboured the species. The highest numbers were counted in the wetlands of Northeastern Algeria. In the west, increasing numbers were detected.

Atoussi, S., Rezkallah, I., Khemis, M., Merzoug, A., Telaili, S. & Houhamdi, M. 2017. Nouvelles données sur l’hivernage de l’Erismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala en Algérie. Alauda 85: 29-36.
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Lire aussi:

Big wintering flock of White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) at Merja Fouarat, Morocco.

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

Première hivernage de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) à Oglat Edaïra, Algérie.

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta (Oran), Algérie, 06/2017 (Ali Mehadji)
Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta (Oran), Algérie, 06/2017 (Ali Mehadji)

Distribution and breeding ecology of the Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) in Algeria

Djelailia, A., Baaziz, N., Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2017). Distribution and breeding ecology of the Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca in Algeria. Ostrich 0(0) DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2017.1313331
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Abstract:

We conducted a survey of the distribution of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca across Algeria and analysed the influence of nest-site characteristics on nesting success at a Ramsar site, Lake Tonga. The species was found to occupy different wetlands (freshwater lakes, brackish marshes and salt lakes) across three major climatic belts (subhumid coastal strip, semi-arid Hauts Plateaux and arid Sahara). Mean clutch size of successful nests was 13.3 ± 6.0 eggs (N = 26) with a hatching rate of 74% for successful clutches. Nesting success was recorded for 44% of nests with clutch desertion (72.7%) accounting for the majority of failed clutches. Egg size of the study population, which breeds at the southern limit of the species’ range, was significantly smaller than that of its northerly counterparts. Clutch size was negatively related to egg size and positively associated with depth of water below the nest, suggesting that older, more experienced or high-quality birds monopolised the safest sites. Successful clutches were significantly associated with tall vegetation, suggesting that when nesting is carried out mainly on offshore floating islets, protection against aerial predators and heat stress determine nesting outcome. Conspecific brood parasitism was significantly and positively associated with deferred egg-laying and smaller egg size, suggesting an age-dependent mechanism.

Distribution et reproduction du Fuligule nyroca Aythya nyroca en Algérie

Nous avons mené une enquête sur la distribution du Fuligule nyroca Aythya nyroca à travers l’Algérie en analysant l’influence des caractéristiques des sites de nidification sur le succès de la nidification au sein d’un site classé Ramsar: le Lac Tonga. L’espèce occupe différentes zones humides (lacs d’eau douce, marais d’eau saumâtre et lacs salés) à travers trois zones climatiques majeures (bande côtière subhumide, Hauts Plateaux semi-arides et Sahara). La grandeur de ponte moyenne est de 10,0 ± 2,96 œufs (N = 29 pontes) avec un taux d’éclosion de 74,7% pour les pontes réussies. Le taux de réussite a totalisé 44% des nids, avec une prédominance d’abandons des pontes causant l’échec de la reproduction (82%). La taille des œufs de la population étudiée est plus petite que celle des populations se reproduisant à des latitudes plus élevées. La grandeur de ponte est négativement associée à la taille des œufs et elle est positivement liée au niveau de l’eau: ceci suggère que les individus plus âgés, ayant plus d’expérience, ou ceux de meilleure qualité monopolisent les sites les plus sûrs. Les pontes réussies sont significativement associées à une végétation haute, suggérant que pour les nids construits sur des îlots flottants, une protection contre les prédateurs aériens et l’exposition au soleil, conditionne le succès de la nidification. Le parasitisme intra-spécifique a été positivement associé à une ponte tardive et à des dimensions réduites des œufs, suggérant un mécanisme dépendant de l’âge.

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca). Photo: Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA, Wikipedia

Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca). Photo: Francis C. Franklin / CC-BY-SA, Wikipedia

Wintering waterbird assemblages in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia

Hamza, F., Hammouda, A. & Selmi, S. (2016). Wintering waterbird assemblages in the central part of the Gulf of Gabès in southern Tunisia. Ostrich 87:  217–223. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2016.1207721
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Abstract

Although the Gulf of Gabès is recognised as an Important Bird Area, several aspects of the ecology of waterbirds inhabiting this area still need to be investigated. We observed how waterbird foraging guilds varied among habitats. In total, 49 species belonging to 16 families were recorded. Winter visitors accounted for 73% of counts. The avifauna was dominated by shorebirds (52% of records), followed by large wading birds (25%), open-water birds (18%) and waterfowl (5%). However, the structure of local waterbird communities and their composition in terms of foraging guilds varied according to habitat type. The bird communities of sandy beaches were dominated by open-water birds, whereas large mudflats were dominated by shorebirds, and wadi estuaries showed a more even representation of foraging guilds. Locally rare species had narrow distributions, whereas locally abundant species were found widely within the gulf. For four species the 1% population level criterion of the Ramsar Convention was exceeded. Overall, our results show that the Gulf of Gabès hosts important numbers of waterbirds with different ecological requirements, which confirms the importance of this gulf as a wintering area for Palearctic waterbirds.

Rassemblements hivernaux chez les oiseaux aquatiques de la zone centrale du Golfe de Gabes en Tunisie méridionale

Bien que le Golfe de Gabes soit reconnu comme une zone importante pour la conservation des oiseaux, de nombreux aspects de l’écologie des oiseaux d’eau qui y vivent restent peu connus. Ainsi, l’objectif de ce travail était de décrire la diversité de l’avifaune hivernante dans ce golfe et d’étudier la variation de sa composition, en termes de guildes alimentaires, entre les différents types d’habitat qu’abrite cette région. Au total, 49 espèces appartenant à 16 familles ont été recensées. Les hivernants représentent 73% des effectifs enregistrés. Cette avifaune est dominée par les limicoles (52% des effectifs enregistrés) suivis par les grands échassiers (25%), les laridés (18%) et les canards (5%). Cependant, la structure des communautés locales et leurs compositions en termes de guildes varient en fonction de d’habitat. C’est ainsi que les avifaunes des plages sableuses sont dominées par les laridés, celles des vasières par les limicoles, alors que les estuaires des oueds abritent une avifaune plus équilibrée. Les espèces localement rares ont une répartition restreinte, tandis que les espèces localement abondantes ont une large distribution dans le golfe. D’autre part, pour quatre des espèces recensées, le critère de 1% de la Convention de Ramsar est atteint. Globalement, nos résultats montrent que le Golfe de Gabes abrite un effectif important d’oiseaux d’eau ayant des affinités écologiques variées, ce qui confirme l’importance de ce golfe pour l’avifaune Paléarctique.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia) ringed in The Netherlands and observed here in gulf of Gabès, Tunisia.

Eurasian Spoonbill, Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia). This bird was ringed in summer 2015 in The Netherlands. During the autumn migration, this spoonbill was observed in the gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. Usually, spoonbills from the Netherlands use the East Atlantic flyway and it is uncommon to observe them in Tunisia. This recovery of Dutch spoonbill is the 4th in Tunisia and the first for the gulf of Gabès (Foued HAMZA)

 

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

Abstract:

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)

Découverte d’un nouveau site de nidification du Flamant rose dans l’ouest de l’Algérie

Une nouvelle zone de nidification du Flamant rose a été découverte dans l’ouest de l’Algérie par Ali Mehadji. Le site sera surveillé durant les prochains mois.

Il y a moins d’un an, une grande colonie reproductrice du Flamant rose a été découverte dans le lac Télamine, wilaya d’Oran. Voir : Le lac Télamine, nouveau site de nidification du Flamant rose Phoenicopterus roseus en Algérie (Samraoui et al. 2015).

Discovery of new breeding site of Greater Flamingo in western Algeria.

A new nesting area of Greater Flamingo was discovered in western Algeria by Ali Mehadji. The site will be monitored in the coming months. This new discovery comes less than a year after the discovery of a large breeding colony of Greater Flamingo in Lake Télamine, Oran, western Algeria.

Merci Ali pour cette bonne nouvelle!

Le nouveau site de nidification du Flamant rose (Phoenicopterus roseus), l’ouest de l’Algérie

Le nouveau site de nidification du Flamant rose (Phoenicopterus roseus) découvert dans l’ouest de l’Algérie, 20 février 2016 (Ali Mehadji).

Predictors of the abundance of shorebirds and wading birds wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

Hamza, F. & Selmi, S. (2015). Habitat features and human presence as predictors of the abundance of shorebirds and wading birds wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 540: 251–258.  doi: 10.3354/meps11500

Abstract:

Understanding ecological factors and processes affecting waterbird abundance is a major question in ecology and important for conservation purposes. In the Mediterranean, studies dealing with the determinants of waterbird abundance and distribution have mainly been concerned with European coastal habitats, whereas less attention has been paid to coastal areas in North Africa. In this work, we used count data to investigate the relevance of habitat features and human presence as predictors of the abundance of shorebirds and wading birds wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, a particularly important wintering quarter for many Palearctic waterbirds in Tunisia. We found that the strength and direction of the relationships between bird abundance and both habitat and human parameters varied among species, depending on their ecological requirements. Most species occurred more abundantly in large mudflats compared to narrow sandy beaches, while one species showed an opposite trend. We also found that the studied sites were frequently visited by local people, mainly for clam harvesting, thus sharing the intertidal habitats with birds. However, the abundance of most species did not decrease with increasing human presence, suggesting that traditional clam-harvesting activity did not seem to disturb birds. Nonetheless, we believe that further investigations of the interactions between birds and clam-harvesters are needed to better understand the role of traditional clam-harvesting activity in shaping the abundance and diversity of waterbirds wintering in the Gulf of Gabès.

Related papers (PDFs):

  • Sanderling (Calidris alba) colour-ringed in Iceland, and observed wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia (Foued Hamza / Birding in Tunisia).
    Sanderling (Calidris alba) colour-ringed in Iceland, and observed wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia (Foued Hamza / Birding in Tunisia).

Un indice écologique pour la surveillance des zones humides basé sur l’avifaune aquatique : cas de la Tunisie

Hamdi, N. & Ismail-Hamdi, S. (2015). Un indice écologique pour la surveillance des zones humides basé sur l’avifaune aquatique : cas de la Tunisie. Revue d’Ecologie (Terre et Vie): 328–342.

Resumé :

Nous proposons dans ce travail un indice écologique pour la surveillance des zones humides tunisiennes, basé sur la variation des effectifs annuels moyens d’oiseaux d’eau. Ce nouvel outil offre une méthode applicable à la surveillance de toutes les catégories de zones humides du Nord de l’Afrique ayant des similitudes avifaunistiques et hydrologiques. Cet indice écologique se calcule en quatre étapes : (1) discriminer les zones humides en associations partageant des caractéristiques hydro-écologiques communes ; (2) déterminer la valeur indicatrice de chaque espèce sur ces différentes associations, quantifiant la relation d’une espèce à l’une des associations ; (3) calculer les variations temporelles des effectifs moyens de chacune de ces espèces entre deux périodes de suivi (dans notre cas 1970/2000 et 2001/2013) ; (4) calculer la somme pondérée des produits des deux métriques de toutes les espèces indicatrices pour chaque association. L’application de notre indice aux zones humides tunisiennes suggère une dégradation des conditions d’hivernage des lagunes et des sebkhas ainsi que des milieux côtiers. À l’inverse, les conditions d’hivernage dans les plaines inondées et les garaets semblent s’améliorer, notamment pour les espèces anthropophiles. Cette méthode de surveillance des zones humides constitue un nouvel outil de travail simple et efficace pour les professionnels de l’environnement.

Abstract:

Waterbirds as an ecological indicator for monitoring wetlands: an application to Tunisia.

We propose a simple ecological index to monitor wetlands, based on interannual changes in waterbird numbers and the hydro-ecological characteristics of their wintering sites. This new method provides a simple tool applicable to most types of wetlands in northern Africa with comparable waterbird species and hydrological attributes. Scores of this ecological index are calculated through a four-steps approach: (1) discriminate prospected sites into different associations based on their hydro-ecological characteristics; (2) compute indicator values for each waterbird species considered to quantify the strength of species-habitat relationships in each wetland associations; (3) calculate the relative rate of temporal change in indicator species abundances between two sampling events (in our example 2001-2013 and 1970/2000); (4) compute the weighted sum across species of the product of these two metrics within a given wetlands association. The application of our index to the monitoring of Tunisian wetlands suggests the degradation of wintering lagoons and salt pans and coastal environments. Nevertheless, applying the index in floodplains and garaets tends to indicate improved overwintering conditions, especially for man-tolerant waterbird species. Our new index targets environmental stakeholders seeking for an efficient tool for biodiversity monitoring.

 

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).

Phénologie des Ardéiformes de la zone humide Fouarat de Kénitra (Maroc)

Fareh, M., Franchimont, J., El Rhaouat, O., Belghyti, D. & El Kharrim, K. (2015). Phénologie des Ardéiformes de la zone humide Fouarat de Kénitra (Maroc). International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies 13(2): 257–267.
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Résumé:

Le marais de Fouarat représente l’une des zones humides de la région du Gharb. Il abrite une faune et une flore aussi importante l’une que l’autre et manifestement en perpétuels changements saisonniers. Dans le but de mettre cette zone en valeur, et de montrer son importance dans la biodiversité locale, régionale et nationale, nous avons entrepris d’étudier sa biodiversité aviaire, notamment celle de l’ordre des Ardéiformes et la phénologie des différentes espèces qui le composent, en mettant le point sur la nidification, l’hivernage et la migration pré – et postnuptiale des taxons en question.
Des notifications de présences et des recensements quasi hebdomadaires ont été réalisés durant l’année 2013, qui nous ont permis de dresser la liste de toutes les espèces d’Ardéiformes vivant dans le marais et d’avoir une idée sur les fluctuations de leurs effectifs saisonniers.
Nous avons rencontré lors de nos visites dix espèces d’Ardéiformes, à savoir : le Blongios nain (Ixobrychus minutus), le Bihoreau gris (Nycticorax nycticorax), le Héron garde-bœufs (Bubulcus ibis), le Crabier chevelu (Ardeola ralloides), l’Aigrette garzette (Egretta garzetta), la Grande Aigrette (Casmerodius albus), le Héron cendré (Ardea cinerea), le Héron pourpré (Ardea purpurea), l’Ibis falcinelle (Plegadis falcinellus) et la Spatule blanche (Platalea leucorodia).

Phenology of the Ardeiformes of Fouarat’s wetland of Kenitra (Morocco)

Abstract:

Fouarat’s swamp is one of the Gharb’s region wetlands. It represents a habitat for an important fauna and flora witch are clearly in perpetual seasonal changes. In order to enhance this area, and to show its importance in the local, regional and national biodiversity, we undertook to study its avian biodiversity, including that of the Ardéiformes order and its different species phenology, putting the accent on the nesting, wintering and migration pre – and post-nuptial of its taxa.
Notification of presence and almost weekly censuses were done in 2013, which allowed us to make a list of all the Ardeiformes species in the marsh and to have an idea about the seasonal fluctuations of theirs numbers.
During our visits, we met ten Ardéiformes species: Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides), Little Egret (Egretta garzetta), Great White Egret (Casmerodius albus), Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea), Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea), Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) and Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia).

Voir aussi:

Lahrouz, S., Dakki, M., Gmira, N. & Cherkaoui, I. 2013. L’importance du marais de Fouwarate (Nord-Ouest marocain) pour l’hivernage et la reproduction des Ardéidés. Bulletin de l’Institut Scientifique, Rabat, Section Sciences de la Vie 35: 165-173.

Ibis falcinelle (Plegadis falcinellus) couvant ses œufs aux marais de Fouarat, Kénitra, Maroc

Ibis falcinelle (Plegadis falcinellus) couvant ses œufs aux marais de Fouarat, Kénitra, Maroc, 07 avril 2013 (Photo: Mostafa FAREH)

Factors affecting nesting success in the Great-crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus at Lake Tonga, north-east Algeria

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

Abstract:

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.

Great-crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) and chicks

Great-crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) and chicks (Michael Brace, flickr)