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Guelma, Algeria

Aberkane M.,Annaba University | Maazi M.-C.,Universite Mohamed Cherif Messaadia de Souk-Ahras | Chettibi F.,Annaba University | Guergueb E.-Y.,Laboratoire Biologie | And 2 more authors.
Zoology and Ecology | Year: 2014

The Marbled Teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris, is a globally threatened species, especially in the Western Mediterranean. Its numbers are currently following a downward trend. The population size and status of the Marbled Teal are well estimated in some areas of its geographic range, but in others, such as Algerian wetlands, they are still not known. Population and time-activity budget estimation of the species were carried out in the semi-arid Ramsar wetland Garaet Timerganine located in north-east Algeria in the course of two subsequent wintering seasons. The wintering population showed a significant decrease in numbers from the first to the second year with peaks of 763 and 270 individuals, respectively. This variation was probably due to the abrupt water level rise in the wetland, scarcity of the vegetation cover and availability of many other wintering places following heavy rains in the second year. The time-activity budget was dominated by resting followed by swimming and feeding. Preening, flight and courting were rarely observed accounting for less than 5% of the whole diurnal activity budget. Although the species preferred shallow parts of the wetland, it also used terrestrial habitats near the shore. © 2013 Nature Research Centre.

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