Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 45/1 | 2008 | 15-27

  Ecoethology of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) wintering in the oasis of Oued Righ valley (algerian sahara)
Houhamdi, M., Bensaci, T., Nouidjem, Y., Bouezgag, A., Saheb, M. & Samraoui, B.

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Article summary

The Oued Righ valley, in the northeast of Algerian Sahara, contains numerous salty wetlands which constitute a wintry refuge for a great variety of waterfowl, particulary the Great Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus. More than 32,000 individuals (adults and immature) were counted during the wintering season 2004-2005 in the eco-complex. These birds seem to prefer spacious wetlands, remote from any disturbance such as Chotts Merouane, Melghir and Tindla (Fig. 1) which, alone, accommodated more than 90 % of the Greater Flamingos wintering in the valley. On the Chott Tindla, which is the most accessible, a study of diurnal activity showed that the feeding is the dominating activity (approximately 70 %), with a rate slightly higher for immature than for adults. In decreasing order, the other activities are walking (12 %), which is generally associated with search for food, sleeping (8 %), preening (4 %), flying (2 %), courtship (2 %) and antagonism (2 %). These last two are observed only in adults. Courtship was observed exclusively in December and antagonism activities only during the winter. At night, we observed a contingent similar to that during the day, which lets us suppose that these water birds roost at night in our chotts.

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