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University of Technology of Compiègne, France

Guergueb E.-Y.,University Djilali Liabes | Bensaci E.,Aix - Marseille University | Nouidjem Y.,University Of Guelma Algerie | Zoubiri A.,Aix - Marseille University | And 2 more authors.
Bulletin de la Societe Zoologique de France | Year: 2014

A study was carried out on the waterbirds of Chott El-Hodna (Central High Plateaus of Algeria), a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, situated in a strategic part of Algeria, with a surface exceeding 362,000 ha. The avifauna of this wetland remains very poorly studied and the biological and ecological roles of the species remain unknown. In this pioneering work we present results obtained through the monthly bird counts from September 2010 to September 2012. In total, 39 species of waterbirds, representing 12 families, were recorded. The duck family is the best represented, with 10 species. Some species were observed in relatively large numbers, such as the Greater Flamingo, Phoenicopterus roseus (2800); Shoveler, Anas clypeata (1640); Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna ferriginea (643); Teal, Anas crecca crecca (2250); and Common Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna (2750). Out of all the species, 20 are wintering, 12 are migrants, six are breeder-resident species, including the Ruddy Shelduck, Tadorna furruginea, and the Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus. Only one species, the White stork, Ciconia ciconia, has breeder-migrant status. Eleven species are protected under Algerian law and one species (Marbled teal,Marmaronetta angustirostris) is listed in the vulnerable (VU) category of the Red List of endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Overall, this wetland is exploited as a wintering ground, a stopover during migration and as a breeding site for several waterbird species. However, Chott El Hodna is under heavy pressure from man, due to such as sand extraction and habitat fragmentation and is in urgent need of protection measures.

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