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Metallinou M.,Institute of Evolutionary Biology CSIC UPF | Arnold E.N.,Natural History Museum in London | Crochet P.-A.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Geniez P.,Center dEcologie Fontionnelle et Evolutive | And 6 more authors.
BMC Evolutionary Biology | Year: 2012

Background: The evolutionary history of the biota of North Africa and Arabia is inextricably tied to the complex geological and climatic evolution that gave rise to the prevalent deserts of these areas. Reptiles constitute an exemplary group in the study of the arid environments with numerous well-adapted members, while recent studies using reptiles as models have unveiled interesting biogeographical and diversification patterns. In this study, we include 207 specimens belonging to all 12 recognized species of the genus Stenodactylus. Molecular phylogenies inferred using two mitochondrial (12S rRNA and 16S rRNA) and two nuclear (c-mos and RAG-2) markers are employed to obtain a robust time-calibrated phylogeny, as the base to investigate the inter- and intraspecific relationships and to elucidate the biogeographical history of Stenodactylus, a genus with a large distribution range including the arid and hyper-arid areas of North Africa and Arabia. Results: The phylogenetic analyses of molecular data reveal the existence of three major clades within the genus Stenodactylus, which is supported by previous studies based on morphology. Estimated divergence times between clades and sub-clades are shown to correlate with major geological events of the region, the most important of which is the opening of the Red Sea, while climatic instability in the Miocene is hypothesized to have triggered diversification. High genetic variability is observed in some species, suggesting the existence of some undescribed species. The S. petrii - S. stenurus species complex is in need of a thorough taxonomic revision. New data is presented on the distribution of the sister species S. sthenodactylus and S. mauritanicus. Conclusions: The phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus Stenodactylus presented in this work permits the reconstruction of the biogeographical history of these common desert dwellers and confirms the importance of the opening of the Red Sea and the climatic oscillations of the Miocene as major factors in the diversification of the biota of North Africa and Arabia. Moreover, this study traces the evolution of this widely distributed and highly specialized group, investigates the patterns of its high intraspecific diversity and elucidates its systematics. © 2012 Metallinou et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.4-1 | Award Amount: 1.15M | Year: 2010

BAT4MED is a 33-month project, whose main objective is to ensure a higher level of environmental protection of the Mediterranean region, minimising the negative impacts associated to the activity key industrial sectors.To that aim, the possibilities for and impact of diffusion of the EU Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control approach to the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC) will be assessed and the implementation of Best Available Techniques in the national environmental programmes will be promoted and supported. BAT4MED aims to help implement the EU Technologies Action Plan by supporting the transfer and uptake of environmental technologies in developing countries. Industrial pollution processes account for a considerable share of the overall pollution in the Mediterranean region. Though awareness of environmental issues related to industrial pollution has notably grown in the last decades, pollution monitoring shows that the positive results have hardly been achieved. The goal of the project justifies its transnational dimension, since pollution in the Mediterranean has a global dimension and cannot be tackled separately by each single country. The project brings together 8 organisations from 6 different countries,4 organisations from 3 EU Member States (Spain,Belgium,Italy),3 from 3 MPC (Egypt,Tunisia,Morocco) and 1 international organisation based in Egypt to build mutual understanding through established networking in industrial pollution prevention and control. Firstly, BAT4MED will analyse the industrial context in the MPC to select the most promising sectors with the highest environmental benefit potential.Secondly, a methodology for BAT assessment will be designed and applied and BAT will be selected for each identified sector taking into account local conditions. Lastly, an analysis of potential convergence of MPC policies with the EU-approach will be carried out. The project has an ambitious set of awareness creation & dissemination activities.

Abou Shady H.M.,Ain Shams University | Bakr A.E.A.,Ain Shams University | Bakr A.E.A.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | Hashad M.E.,Cairo University | Alzohairy M.A.,Qassim University
Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases | Year: 2015

Epidemiological and molecular data on community acquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) are still scarce in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There is almost no data regarding methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevalence in both countries. This study was conducted to investigate the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of S. aureus and MRSA nasal carriage among outpatients attending primary health care centers in two big cities in both countries. A total of 206 nasal swabs were obtained, 103 swabs from each country. S. aureus isolates were characterized by antibiotic susceptibility, presence of mecA and PVL genes, SCCmec-typing and spa typing, the corresponding Multi locus sequence typing clonal complex was assigned for each spa type based on Ridom StaphType database. MRSA was detected in 32% of the Egyptian outpatients while it was found in 25% of the Saudi Arabian outpatients. All MRSA isolates belonged to SCCmec type V and IVa, where some isolates in Saudi Arabia remained nontypeable. Surprisingly PVL+ isolates were low in frequency: 15% of MRSA Egyptian isolates and 12% of MRSA isolates in Saudi Arabia. Two novel spa types were detected t11839 in Egypt, and t11841 in Saudi Arabia. We found 8 spa types among 20 isolates from Egypt, and 12 spa types out of 15 isolates from Saudi Arabia. Only two spa types t008 and t223 coexisted in both countries. Four clonal complexes (CC5, CC8, CC22, and CC80) were identified in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. However, the data collected lacked a representation of isolates from different parts of each country as only one health center from each country was included, it still partially illustrates the CA-MRSA situation in both countries. In conclusion a set of control measures is required to prevent further increase in MRSA prevalence. © 2014 Elsevier Editora Ltda.

Attum O.,Indiana University Southeast | Rabia B.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2016

Dispersal from the release site and high mortality are two main factors that contribute to low retention of hard-released translocated wildlife. A soft-release translocation is a method that may increase the likelihood of translocation success because individuals are forced to acclimatize and become familiar to the new release site prior to the translocation. The objective of this study was to compare the movement patterns and retention rate of resident and translocated Egyptian tortoises that were translocated just prior to the start of the aestivation season and therefore were forced to aestivate at the release site (a forced in-activity soft-release). The retention rate of translocated tortoises, the proportion of tortoises that remained at the release site and alive by the end of the study, was 71% (5/7) compared to a retention rate of 100% for resident tortoises. There was no significant difference in the minimum convex polygon area, total distance moved, or the number of relocations during the activity season between resident and translocated tortoises. Our results suggest that a forced in-activity soft release consisting of translocating Egyptian tortoises just before the aestivation season may be effective in minimizing dispersal from the release site. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Eason P.,University of Louisville | Rabea B.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | Attum O.,Indiana University Southeast
Journal of Field Ornithology | Year: 2012

Populations of many seabirds and other species that nest along coasts are declining due to habitat degradation and loss. An improved understanding of the species-specific factors that determine nest density across a landscape is therefore critical for conservation efforts. We examined factors that affected the density (number per hectare) and abundance (number at a sampling site) of nests of Little Terns (Sternula albifrons) on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. Terns preferred to nest on islands rather than the mainland, with islands constituting 64% of the area surveyed, but containing 99% of the 439 tern nests we found. Nest densities were highest on islands that were small, located at moderate distances from the mainland, and irregularly shaped or elongated. Most nests (69%) were on islands with areas < 3 ha, although these islands represented < 5% of total island area, and islands with the highest nest densities were 80-300 m from the mainland. Terrestrial predators were more likely to occur on larger islands, visiting three of the largest four islands. Most tern nests were within 1 m of shorelines, causing island perimeter to be a strong influence on nest density. Island shape was the only factor that significantly affected nest abundance, with more nests on islands with relatively long perimeters for their size. Our results suggest that protection or creation of relatively small, slender islands at moderate distances from shore may be an effective means of increasing the number of breeding sites for Little Terns. Although not generally considered a potential determinant of nest site preferences for seabirds, island shape is likely to be important for species that prefer sites adjacent to water, including species that nest on beaches and seaside cliffs. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology © 2012 Association of Field Ornithologists.

Attum O.,Indiana University Southeast | Mahmoud T.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
Journal of Arid Environments | Year: 2012

We examined the relationship between Dorcas gazelle and livestock use of trees according to size. Our data suggest that Dorcas gazelle use of trees differs according to species and size. Larger Acacia trees are used for territorial purposes whereas smaller trees may be visited within the course of grazing. Our data show that tree size also determines potential food availability. On shorter trees, gazelles can graze on leafy vegetation at a range of heights between ground level until the top of the tree. In contrast, leafy vegetation on taller trees is available at heights that are often too high for gazelles to reach. However, larger trees provide another food source for gazelles not found on shorter trees such as seed pods, which were only found on larger Acacia radiana trees. There was no significant difference between the size of the other tree species that were used and not used by gazelles. Goats, camels, and donkeys were typically associated with only larger trees, regardless of species. Dorcas gazelle conservation will require maintaining viable Acacia populations that are characterized by recruitment and a variation of tree sizes and ages. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Gaubert P.,French Natural History Museum | Bloch C.,SYLVATROP | Benyacoub S.,University dAnnaba | Abdelhamid A.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The recent discovery of a lineage of gray wolf in North-East Africa suggests the presence of a cryptic canid on the continent, the African wolf Canis lupus lupaster. We analyzed the mtDNA diversity (cytochrome b and control region) of a series of African Canis including wolf-like animals from North and West Africa. Our objectives were to assess the actual range of C. l. lupaster, to further estimate the genetic characteristics and demographic history of its lineage, and to question its taxonomic delineation from the golden jackal C. aureus, with which it has been considered synonymous. We confirmed the existence of four distinct lineages within the gray wolf, including C. lupus/familiaris (Holarctic wolves and dogs), C. l. pallipes, C. l. chanco and C. l. lupaster. Taxonomic assignment procedures identified wolf-like individuals from Algeria, Mali and Senegal, as belonging to C. l. lupaster, expanding its known distribution c. 6,000 km to the west. We estimated that the African wolf lineage (i) had the highest level of genetic diversity within C. lupus, (ii) coalesced during the Late Pleistocene, contemporaneously with Holarctic wolves and dogs, and (iii) had an effective population size of c. 80,000 females. Our results suggest that the African wolf is a relatively ancient gray wolf lineage with a fairly large, past effective population size, as also suggested by the Pleistocene fossil record. Unique field observations in Senegal allowed us to provide a morphological and behavioral diagnosis of the African wolf that clearly distinguished it from the sympatric golden jackal. However, the detection of C. l. lupaster mtDNA haplotypes in C. aureus from Senegal brings the delineation between the African wolf and the golden jackal into question. In terms of conservation, it appears urgent to further characterize the status of the African wolf with regard to the African golden jackal. © 2012 Gaubert et al.

Lowenthal D.H.,Desert Research Institute | Gertler A.W.,Desert Research Institute | Labib M.W.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency
International Journal of Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2014

This paper presents results of an atmospheric particulate matter (PM) monitoring and source apportionment study conducted during summer and fall 2010 in Cairo. These results are compared to those of similar studies in 1999 and 2002. Concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10 mass and their chemical constituents were determined and chemical mass balance modeling was conducted to estimate the source contributions to ambient PM. Emphasis was placed on characterizing the long-term trends in atmospheric lead (Pb) concentrations and their sources in Cairo. PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were highest during fall 1999 at four of the five study sites. This was also the case for open (vegetative/trash) burning contributions, which showed a smaller increase during fall 2010. Burning of agricultural waste after the fall harvest continues to be a major source of PM in Cairo. Both PM2.5 and PM10 mass decreased dramatically at Shobra, an industrial site, from 1999 to 2010. A reduction of lead smelting has resulted in a decrease of ambient Pb concentrations of up to two orders of magnitude from 1999 to 2010 at Shobra, El-Zamalek, and El-Qualaly. From 1999 to 2010, the mobile source contribution has been relatively stable at most of the study sites. Future efforts to reduce ambient PM should focus on controlling emissions from motor vehicles and open burning and implementing mitigation strategies for reducing resuspended road and construction dust. © 2013 Islamic Azad University (IAU).

Allah S.A.,Hokkaido University | Allah S.A.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | Mogi T.,Hokkaido University
Earth, Planets and Space | Year: 2016

Ontake Volcano is located in central Japan, 200 km northwest of Tokyo and erupted on September 27, 2014. To study the structure of Ontake Volcano and discuss the process of its phreatic eruption, which can help in future eruptions mitigation, airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveys using the grounded electrical-source airborne transient electromagnetic (GREATEM) system were conducted over Ontake Volcano. Field measurements and data analysis were done by OYO Company under the Sabo project managed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. Processed data and 1D resistivity models were provided by this project. We performed numerical forward modeling to generate a three-dimensional (3D) resistivity structure model that fits the GREATEM data where a composite of 1D resistivity models was used as the starting model. A 3D electromagnetic forward-modeling scheme based on a staggered-grid finite-difference method was modified and used to calculate the response of the 3D resistivity model along each survey line. We verified the model by examining the fit of magnetic-transient responses between the field data and 3D forward-model computed data. The preferred 3D resistivity models show that a moderately resistive structure (30-200 m) is characteristic of most of the volcano, and were able to delineate a hydrothermal zone within the volcanic edifice. This hydrothermal zone may be caused by a previous large sector collapse. © 2016 Abd Allah and Mogi.

Underwood C.J.,Birkbeck College | Ward D.J.,Crofton Court | King C.,16a Park Road | Antar S.M.,Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the Geologists' Association | Year: 2011

The Eocene rocks exposed in the Fayum Area, Egypt, are well known for their fossil vertebrates but in recent times the sharks and rays have been largely neglected. Extensive surface collecting, supplemented with bulk samples, has produced large collections from the Midawara, Gehannam, Birket Qarun and Qasr el-Sagha formations, spanning the Bartonian and Priabonian stages and from palaeoenvironments varying from open muddy shelf to very shallow estuarine systems. In total about 90 species of sharks and rays are recorded, many of them previously unrecognised, resulting in some of the most diverse fossil chondrichthyan assemblages known from the Tertiary. Teeth of these species suggest that they occupied a wide range of ecological niches from top predator to tiny benthic invertebrate feeder to planktivore. Many of the species are limited in their stratigraphical range and show potential to be used, at least locally, as biostratigraphical indicators for stratigraphically poorly constrained vertebrate sites elsewhere in North Africa. Distinctly different faunas from different sedimentary environments indicate a strong environmental control on the distribution of many species. © 2010.

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