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)

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)

Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations

Flack, A., Fiedler, W., Blas, J., Pokrovsky, I., Kaatz, M., Mitropolsky, M., Aghababyan, K., Fakriadis, I., Makrigianni, E., Jerzak, L. and Azafzaf, H., Feltrup-Azafzaf, C., Rotics, S., Mokotjomela, T. M., Nathan, R. & Wikelski, M. 2016. Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations. Science Advances 2(1): p.e1500931. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500931 (Open Access)

Abstract:

Annual migratory movements can range from a few tens to thousands of kilometers, creating unique energetic requirements for each specific species and journey. Even within the same species, migration costs can vary largely because of flexible, opportunistic life history strategies. We uncover the large extent of variation in the lifetime migratory decisions of young white storks originating from eight populations. Not only did juvenile storks differ in their geographically distinct wintering locations, their diverse migration patterns also affected the amount of energy individuals invested for locomotion during the first months of their life. Overwintering in areas with higher human population reduced the stork’s overall energy expenditure because of shorter daily foraging trips, closer wintering grounds, or a complete suppression of migration. Because migrants can change ecological processes in several distinct communities simultaneously, understanding their life history decisions helps not only to protect migratory species but also to conserve stable ecosystems.

Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations

Fig. 1. Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations (Flack et al. 2016)

 

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.

 

From Scotland to Algeria: Geolocators reveal migration and wintering areas of Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus)

Sim, I. M. W., Green, M., Rebecca, G. W. & Burgess, M. D. (2015). Geolocators reveal new insights into Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus migration routes and non-breeding areas. Bird Study 62: 561–565.  doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1077779
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

The first details of the migration pattern of a male Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus, fitted with a geolocator on its Scottish breeding grounds, showed that it wintered in the Algerian Atlas Mountains, substantially east of the suspected main wintering area.

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus - Merle à plastron - دج مطوق), Algeria

Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus – Merle à plastron – دج مطوق), Algeria, November 2015 (photo: Amine Djabari)

 

From Scotland to Algeria: Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) migration and wintering areas

Median autumn stopover and wintering areas (ellipses) identified from geolocations from an ouzel tracked from Scotland, and recovery locations of British-ringed ouzels. Stopover and winter location ellipses represent the standard deviation of locations around the median point. British-breeding ouzels recovered in autumn (September–November: stars), winter (December–February: open circles) or spring (March–April: upward triangles) are shown alongside non British-breeding ouzels recovered during September–ovember (filled circles). http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00063657.2015.1077779

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).

Results of the eighth winter waterbird census in Libya in January 2012

Etayeb, K. S., Berbash, A., Bashimam, W., Bouzainen, M., Galidana, A., Saied, M., Yahia, J. & Bourass, E. (2015). Results of the eighth winter waterbird census in Libya in January 2012. Biodiversity Journal 6(1): 253–262.
PDF

Abstract:

After sporadic observations and reports on Libyan birds during the last century, a regular census of wintering birds at Libyan coastal wetlands started in January 2005. Results of each winter census till 2011 have been published. The survey of 2012 was carried out by the authors of the present paper. The general aim was to continue the census of wintering waterbirds in Libya, despite the difficulties that faced the team after the War of Liberation, and the fact that certain areas, very important for birds, have been declared military areas. A total of 29,314 individuals belonging to 69 waterbird species was counted. Comparatively, the number of sites covered in 2012 was less than that in previous years of the survey. The majority of individuals counted belong to seven gull species. This survey also observed a total of 56 individuals of Aythya nyroca Guldenstadt, 1770, a Near Threatened species, as well as, for the first time, a single individual of Canada Goose Branta canadensis (Linnaeus, 1758) in eastern Libya.

Hivernage de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) à Oglat Edaïra, Algérie

L’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) est une espèce classée en danger d’extinction dans la liste rouge de l’IUCN. En Algérie, l’espèce ne se reproduit que dans quelques sites et hivernent dans environ 14 sites dans différentes régions.

L’espèce a été observée en hivernage à Oglat Edaïra, Wilaya de Nâama. C’est la première fois! Ni la “Fiche descriptive sur les zones humides Ramsar” relative au site, ni l’étude de l’équipe de Samraoui (Samraoui & Samraoui 2008; Samraoui et al. 2011) cite l’Érismature à tête blanche comme hivernante dans le site.

La zone humide Oglat Edaïra, connue aussi sous le nom de “Lac de Aïn Ben Khelil” est un lac saumâtre et saisonnier situé à 30 km au sud-ouest de la ville de Nâama.

Références (PDFs in ResearchGate.net):

Samraoui, F., Alfarhan, A.H., Al-Rasheid, K.A.S. & Samraoui, B. (2011). An appraisal of the status and distribution of waterbirds of Algeria: indicators of global changes? Ardeola 58: 137–163.

Samraoui, B., & Samraoui, F. (2008). An ornithological survey of Algerian wetlands: Important Bird Areas, Ramsar sites and threatened species. Wildfowl 58: 71–98.

Abdelkader Allali (Conservation des forets de Batna).

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala)

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Oglat Edaïra, Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma, Algérie. (photo: Abdelkader Allali).

Oglat Edaïra, Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma

Oglat Edaïra, 3 Km de la commune de Ain Ben Khelil, Naâma.

5 Nettes rousses (Netta rufina) au Barrage Chiba, Cap Bon (Tunisie)

Cinq Nettes rousses (Netta rufina), 3 mâles et 2 femelles, ont été observées au Barrage Chiba au Cap Bon (Tunisie) le 14 janvier 2015 lors de la campagne de recensement hivernal des oiseaux d’eau. La Nette rousse est une hivernante rare en Tunisie.

Five Red-crested Pochards (Netta rufina), 3 males and 2 females, were observed in Chiba Reservoir, Cap Bon (Tunisia) during this winter waterbirds census on 14 January 2015. The Red-crested Pochard is a rare wintering visitor in Tunisia.

Mohamed Ali Dakhli / Birding Tunisia.

Hichem Azafzaf (Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux”, AAO) a aussi observé l’espèce dans le même site et voici leur commentaire:

“Durant la campagne de recensement des oiseaux d’eau hivernants en Tunisie cette année, j’ai pu observer au Barrage Chiba (Gouvernorat de Nabeul) deux mâles de Nette rousse (Netta rufina), espèce considérée comme hivernante rare en Tunisie.

During the Mid-winter Waterbird Census in Tunisia this year, I have observed in the Chiba dam reservoir (Governorate of Nabeul) two males Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), a species considered to be rarely wintering in Tunisia”.

Nette rousse (Netta rufina), Cap-Bon, Tunisie

Nette rousse – Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), Barrage Chiba, Cap Bon, Tunisie, 14 janvier 2015. (photo: Mohamed Ali Dakhli / Birding Tunisia).

Red-crested Pochard - Nette rousse (Netta rufina)

2 males Red-crested Pochard – Nette rousse (Netta rufina), Barrage Chiba, Governorate of Nabeul (= Cap Bon), Tunisia, January 2015. (photo: Hichem Azafzaf / Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux”, AAO).