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Khoury F.,University of Jordan | Boulad N.,Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature | Janaydeh M.,Majmaah University
Zoology in the Middle East | Year: 2012

Finsch's Wheatear, Oenathe finsehii, is a widespread winter visitor in Jordan, primarily in arid - semi arid hilly areas with a mean annual rainfall of 100-300 mm. The average territory size in winter varied among the different study areas from 1.6 to 3.4 ha. This variation was not related to productivity and food density, but may have been caused by differences in habitat structure and interspecific territoriality by the Mourning Wheatear, Oenanlhe lugens, which was present in half of the study areas. Territory size variations were not sex-related although females were apparently excluded from more productive habitats by dominant males. © Kasparek Verlag, Heidelberg. Source

Hamidan N.,Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature | Hamidan N.,Bournemouth University | Britton J.R.,Bournemouth University
Environmental Biology of Fishes | Year: 2015

The life history traits of desert fishes indicate their resilience to environmental change and vulnerability to extirpation and extinction. Garra ghorensis is a small (<140 mm) riverine cyprinid fish endemic to the Southern Dead Sea area and is critically endangered through habitat loss and invasive species. Here, the reproductive ecology of three Jordanian populations of this species were assessed through the collection of monthly samples between February 2011 and January 2012 in a region where air temperatures ranged between below 0 °C and over 40 °C through the year. Samples contained fish up to 137 mm fork length, with most <100 mm. Fish matured at length below 40 mm and at ages <1 year. Except one population of female dominated, sex ratios were not significantly different from 1:1. Reproductive effort, as gonado-somatic index (IG), peaked in both sexes in May, indicating spawning commenced soon after, with gonad maturation occurring at mean air temperatures below 20 °C and spawning above 20 °C. Mean female IG by month suggested protracted spawning throughout the summer months. Both mean IG and fecundity varied between sites, with the highest values at the most disturbed site. In combination, these outputs suggest G. ghorensis has an opportunistic life history strategy with sufficiently plastic reproductive traits that enable adaptation to shifting conditions. These are likely to provide resilience to habitat alterations and suggest that the plasticity of their reproductive traits might be important in developing strategies to safeguard their populations in the face of continued habitat degradation. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Hamidan N.,Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature | Hamidan N.,Bournemouth University | Aloufi A.,University of Tabuk
Journal of Fish Biology | Year: 2014

This study documents the rediscovery of Acanthobrama hadiyahensis in Saudi Arabia and the first report since it was described in 1983. One female and one juvenile were collected from Qusaiba'a Dam, in the Al-Thamad area of Khaybar City. Threats facing this species are the same as those facing all other freshwater fishes in Arabia, mainly habitat loss and damming. © 2014 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles. Source

Demeo T.E.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Triepke F.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Al Smadi E.M.A.,Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature | Ananbeh Y.,Ajloun Forest Reserve | Duran F.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Natural Areas Journal | Year: 2010

Management of the nature reserve network in Jordan by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) requires information on the productivity and diversity of each reserve. Moreover, calculation of biomass is becoming increasingly important, not only for local firewood estimates, but also in a global context of determining carbon management options. Accordingly, we developed a 200-m grid for the systematic random selection of sample sites within the recently established 12 km2 Ajloun Reserve, in the evergreen oak zone of northern Jordan. The method applied can be used in a variety of ecosystems and is in accord with local resources of staffing and training. In order to develop a method to compare these ecosystems across broad areas, we used high resolution satellite imagery to make ocular estimates of tree volume (as a depiction of biomass) for all 167 grid points falling within the reserve. A subset of 57 grid points was randomly selected and field sampled for calibration of the ocular estimates. Diameter and species were recorded for all trees in each sample. Stem counts were made by species for all tree regeneration (stems < 2.0 cm diameter). Following the inventory, a correction coefficient was identified according to the disparity between ocular estimates and volume estimates generated from field data, and then applied to all remaining grid points. Volume averaged 2.5 m3/ha (12.4% sample error using a 95% confidence interval). Using this method, biomass estimates can be extrapolated across landscapes in order to compare them. The permanent sampling network we established is relatively easy to maintain over time, and also provides a monitoring framework for other studies, including wildlife and rare plants. Repeat sampling (n = 12 points) in 2008 showed results similar to those of 2007, except for a decrease in the proportion of oaks in the 2.0 to 4.9 cm class. Source

Attum O.,Bellarmine University | Attum O.,Indiana University Southeast | Otoum M.,Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature | Amr Z.,Jordan University of Science and Technology | Tietjen B.,Bellarmine University
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2011

Wildlife translocations, the deliberate movement of animals from one part of their distribution to another, are increasingly used as a conservation method for the reestablishment of rare and endangered species. The objective of this study was to examine the movement patterns and macro- and microhabitat use of translocated and resident spur-thighed tortoises. This translocation was considered a soft-release as the tortoises were forced to be relatively inactive due to their being released at the beginning of the aestivation season. Our results suggest that forced aestivation soft-releases may succeed in reducing dispersal by forcing spur-thighed tortoises to spend time at the release site as the majority of translocated tortoises had similar activity range sizes and movement path tortuosity as resident tortoises. Spur-thighed tortoise conservation will require protecting habitat at multiple scales, with the remaining native forests in the country of Jordan being important to the spur-thighed tortoise during the activity and aestivation/hibernation seasons, as this macrohabitat was used significantly more than the human-modified habitats. Microhabitat structures such as leaf litter and availability of large stones may also be especially important in human-modified landscapes, as these microhabitats may help reduce the effects of habitat degradation. © 2010 Springer-Verlag. Source

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