Ecology, phenology and wintering behavior of Anatidae in the wetlands of Souk-Ahras (north-eastern Algeria)
Latest version published by Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona on 24 June 2021 Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

Understanding the spatial and temporal niche of waterfowl is essential for effective management and conservation. To determine the ecology and phenology of Anatidae in North Africa, we carried out a 12-month study (2019-2020) in three wetlands that constitute a winter refuge for waterbirds in the Souk-Ahras region in north-east Algeria. We surveyed species richness, the seasonal pattern of the number of Anatidae, and their wintering diurnal behavior using regular counts and scans. We recorded thirteen species: six wintering species (Anas clypeata, Anas penelope, Anas strepera, Tadorna tadorna, Aythya ferina, Anas crecca crecca) and three sedentary nesting species ( Anas platyrhynchos, Oxyura leucocephala, and Aythya nyroca), the latter two having national and international protection status. The survey showed that the wintering behavior of all these species is dominated by sleep, which on average accounts for almost half of the total time (48.91%). Our results indicate that the three wetlands host a complex waterfowl community that includes species of conservation concern and that these sites likely play an essential role in providing the essential resources for wintering.

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Bouali, N., Baaloudj, A., Touarfia, M., Houhamdi, I., Maazi, M. C., Houhamdi, M., 2021. Ecology, phenology and wintering behavior of Anatidae in the wetlands of Souk-Ahras (north-eastern Algeria). Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona. Dataset/Occurrence. https://doi.org/

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Keywords

Waterfowl; Wetlands; North Africa; Winter refuge; Specific richness; Phenology; Occurrence

Contacts

Who created the resource:

A. Baaloudj
LBEE, Faculty SNV-STU, University 8 May
Guelma
DZ

Who can answer questions about the resource:

N. Bouali
Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Souk-Ahras
Souk-Ahras
DZ
A. Baaloudj
LBEE, Faculty SNV-STU, University 8 May
Guelma
DZ
M. Touarfia
LEAT Laboratory, Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Souk-Ahras
Souk-Ahras
I. Houhamdi
LBEE, Faculty SNV-STU, University 8 May
Guelma
DZ
M. C. Maazi
LEAT Laboratory, Department of Biology, Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, University of Souk-Ahras
Souk-Ahras
DZ
M. Houhamdi
LBEE, Faculty SNV-STU, University 8 May
Guelma
DZ

Who filled in the metadata:

Montse Ferrer
Managing Editor
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
Pg. Picasso s/n.
08003 Barcelona
Barcelona
ES

Who else was associated with the resource:

Metadata Provider
Montse Ferrer
Managing Editor AMZ
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona
Ps Picasso s/n
08003 Barcelona
Barcelona
ES
Geographic Coverage

The wilaya of Souk-Ahras (4,365.59 km2) is located in north-eastern Algeria, at the limit of the Tunisian border on a strip of 88 km. It is bound to the northeast by the wilaya of El-Taref, Guelma in the northwest, Oum El-Bouaghi in the southwest, Tébessa in the south, and Tunisia in the east

Bounding Coordinates South West [36.025, 7.727], North East [36.147, 8.241]
Taxonomic Coverage

No Description available

Order  Anseriformes
Family  Anatidae
Species  Anas clypeata,  Anas penelope,  Anas platyrhynchos,  Anas acuta,  Anas strepera,  Oxyura leucocephala,  Aythya nyroca,  Aythya ferina,  Marmaronetta angustirostris,  Anas crecca crecca,  Anas querquedula,  Tadorna tadorna,  Aythya fuligula
Temporal Coverage
Start Date / End Date 2019-09-01 / 2020-08-31
Project Data

The wetlands of north-eastern Algeria are characterized by great biodiversity of fauna and flora (Samraoui and De Belair, 1998; Samraoui and Samraoui, 2008; Khelifa et al., 2016). One of the key taxonomic groups that characterizes their ecological importance is waterbirds, not only because of their crucial role in ecosystem functioning (Temple and Wiens, 1989; Carignan and Villard, 2002) but also because they reflect the environmental health of these areas (Maazi, 2005; Houhamdi et al., 2009). Additionally, Algeria has a strategic geographic position in the Western Palaearctic, and it has more than 1200 wetlands, 52 of which are internationally classified (Samraoui and Samraoui, 2008). These geographic and environmental attributes make local wetlands a high-quality refuge for waterbirds. Algerian waterbirds have attracted a lot of attention over the last two decades, highlighting their great importance for biological conservation (Houhamdi et al., 2008; Saheb, 2009; Khelifa, 2012; Chettibi et al., 2013; Bara et al., 2014). These studies have focused on a wide range of waterbirds, including the common scaup (Aythya nyroca), the flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), the elegant avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), white stilt (Himantopus himantopus), white-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala), common cranes (Grus grus), teal (Anas crecca crecca), shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), Eurasian coot (Fulica atra) and souchet duck (Anas clypeata) (Boulkhssaim et al., 2006; Baaziz and Samraoui, 2008; Houhamdi et al., 2008; Mayache et al., 2008; Aissaoui et al., 2009; Metallaoui et al., 2009; Saheb et al., 2009; Maazi et al., 2010; Metallaoui et al., 2014). Among these birds, the Anatidae constitute the most dominant group in view of both species richness and abundance (Metallaoui and Houhamdi, 2008; Maazi, 2009; Houhamdi et al., 2009; Boukrouna et al., 2011; Baaziz et al., 2011; Merzoug et al., 2014; Guergueb et al., 2014; Amoabda et al., 2015; Halassi et al., 2016; Atoussi et al., 2017). Given that the most threatened waterbirds also belong to Anatidae, studies on their ecology, behavior, and demography should be regularly conducted to build up a long-term database and support their management and conservation. Our aim was to assess the abundance, species composition, and wintering diurnal behavior of Anatidae in three wetlands in the Souk-Ahras region in north east Algeria. The study was conducted from September 2019 to August 2020, thus covering both the wintering season and the breeding season. We determined species composition and abundance by means of bi-monthly visits, allowing us to monitor seasonal patterns. The wintering behavior was categorized into seven different behaviors. The time allocated to each behavior was then calculated using the scan method.

Title Ecology, phenology and wintering behavior of Anatidae in the wetlands of Souk-Ahras (north-eastern Algeria)
Study Area Description The wilaya of Souk-Ahras (4,365.59 km2) is located in north-eastern Algeria, at the limit of the Tunisian border on a strip of 88 km. It is bound to the northeast by the wilaya of El-Taref, Guelma in the northwest, Oum El-Bouaghi in the southwest, Tébessa in the south, and Tunisia in the east. The region has a Mediterranean climate; it is subhumid in the north and semi-arid in the south with cold winters and scorching summers in the south. Most wetlands in the region depend on the climatic conditions for their water supply, mainly rainfall. Our work covered three natural wetlands: Tiffech and El-Kaf hill reservoirs and the marsh of Madjen Djedj.
Design Description The phenology and structure of the Anatidae population was monitored bi-monthly over 12 months, from September 2019 to August 2020. Our counts allowed an individual count when the flock of waterbirds was close to the point. When the number of individuals was less than 200, we counted them individually. When the number of individuals was greater than 200 or at a greater distance, we made a visual estimate (Lamotte and Bourlière, 1969; Blondel, 1975; Houhamdi, 2002). The counts were carried out by direct observation using a KONUSPOT 20-60x80 telescope. The estimated total number represents the sum of all flock snumbers (Houhamdi and Samraoui, 2001, 2003, 2008; Aissaoui et al., 2011). This method often has an estimated margin of error among professionals of 05-10%. It also depends on the observers' experience and the quality of the optical equipment used (Legendre and Legendre, 1979; Tamisier and Dehorter, 1999). To characterize the waterbird community, a few ecological indices were calculated, namely the total abundance, species richness, the Shannon and Weaver diversity index (H') and the index of fairness (E) (Chessel et al., 2004). The second part of our study consisted of monitoring the rhythm of the daily activities of Anatidae. We used the the SCAN method, carried out every hour, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Baldassare et al., 1988; Losito et al., 1989; Tamisier and Dehorter, 1999; Boulekhssaim et al., 2006). The activities monitored were feeding, sleeping, swimming, grooming, flight, courtship, and antagonism (Houhamdi and Samraoui, 2001, 2003, 2008; Metallaoui et al., 2009).

The personnel involved in the project:

Author
A. Baaloudj
Sampling Methods

The phenology and structure of the Anatidae population was monitored bi-monthly over 12 months, from September 2019 to August 2020. Our counts allowed an individual count when the flock of waterbirds was close to the point. When the number of individuals was less than 200, we counted them individually. When the number of individuals was greater than 200 or at a greater distance, we made a visual estimate (Lamotte and Bourlière, 1969; Blondel, 1975; Houhamdi, 2002). The counts were carried out by direct observation using a KONUSPOT 20-60x80 telescope. The estimated total number represents the sum of all flock snumbers (Houhamdi and Samraoui, 2001, 2003, 2008; Aissaoui et al., 2011). This method often has an estimated margin of error among professionals of 05-10%. It also depends on the observers' experience and the quality of the optical equipment used (Legendre and Legendre, 1979; Tamisier and Dehorter, 1999). To characterize the waterbird community, a few ecological indices were calculated, namely the total abundance, species richness, the Shannon and Weaver diversity index (H') and the index of fairness (E) (Chessel et al., 2004). The second part of our study consisted of monitoring the rhythm of the daily activities of Anatidae. We used the the SCAN method, carried out every hour, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Baldassare et al., 1988; Losito et al., 1989; Tamisier and Dehorter, 1999; Boulekhssaim et al., 2006). The activities monitored were feeding, sleeping, swimming, grooming, flight, courtship, and antagonism (Houhamdi and Samraoui, 2001, 2003, 2008; Metallaoui et al., 2009).

Study Extent The wilaya of Souk-Ahras (4,365.59 km2) is located in north-eastern Algeria, at the limit of the Tunisian border on a strip of 88 km. It is bound to the northeast by the wilaya of El-Taref, Guelma in the northwest, Oum El-Bouaghi in the southwest, Tébessa in the south, and Tunisia in the east. The region has a Mediterranean climate; it is subhumid in the north and semi-arid in the south with cold winters and scorching summers in the south. Most wetlands in the region depend on the climatic conditions for their water supply, mainly rainfall. Our work covered three natural wetlands: Tiffech and El-Kaf hill reservoirs and the marsh of Madjen Djedj.

Method step description:

  1. We used R 3.5.2 (R Development Core Team 2019) ) provided with the FactoMineR package. Data were expressed as mean ± SD for analysis. The Shannon and Weaver diversity index (H ') and equitability index (E) were calculated using ADE software (Chessel et al., 2004). Species are presented in the systematic order of Sibley and Monroe (1990). To conduct comparisons of diversity indices across the three sites, we applied the Kruskal-Wallis test (nonparametric alternative to ANOVA), first because our data did not meet the normality and homoscedasticity assumptions, and second to assess the difference in abundance across sites.
Bibliographic Citations
  1. Bouali, N., Baaloudj, A., Touarfia, M., Houhamdi, I., Maazi, M. C., Houhamdi, M., 2021. Ecology, phenology and wintering behavior of Anatidae in the wetlands of Souk-Ahras (north-eastern Algeria). Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 19: 135- , https://doi.org/10.32800/amz.2021.19.0135 https://doi.org/10.32800/amz.2021.19.0135
Additional Metadata
Alternative Identifiers 10.15470/fozdot
https://ipt.gbif.es/resource?r=anatidae_souk-ahras_algeria