Working for birds in Africa

Algeria

News

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 09:20 -- abc_admin
Lesser_Spotted_Woodpecker_Algeria

Male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor ledouci at its nest hole in bamboo Bambusa macroculmis in Jardin d’Essai of El Hamma, Algiers

Image Credit: 
Youcef Harik 2000
Rose_ringed_Parakeet_Algeria

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri at its nest hole, Jardin d’Essai of Hamma, Algiers.

Image Credit: 
Youcef Harik
Spotted_Flycatcher_Algeria

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata Algeria

Image Credit: 
O. Peyre and G. Durand

The following largely unconfirmed records were published in the Bulletin of the African Bird Club for information only.

Noteworthy species observed during a short visit on 25–29 October 2009 included several thousand Cory's Shearwaters Calonectris diomedea off Jijel, a Eurasian Griffon Vulture Gyps fulvus circling around the crags between Constantine and Jijel, a Water Rail Rallus aquaticus and a Eurasian Penduline Tit Remiz pendulinus at El Kala National Park, and three Algerian Nuthatches Sitta ledanti in Tamantut Forest.

Rose-ringed Parakeet Psittacula krameri was seen in Algiers for the first time in 1984 and has been breeding there since 1995 at least. Its range throughout Algiers and its suburbs is expanding. It has been established that it is the African subspecies P.k.krameri which has been introduced (FELLOUS, A., MOULAI, R. & JACOB, J.P. 2005). Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor ledouci appears to be an unusual record for the city of Algiers.

In 2004, three pairs of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca raised 3,5 and 8 young in a Saharan wetland near El Golea, and a pair of Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris raised three young in a wetland near Ouargla.

In August 1998, a colony of African Silverbill Euodice cantans was discovered in the central Algerian Sahara, at Abalessa, north-west of Tamanrasset. There are few previous records of the species in the Western Palearctic (FARID, B. 2001) . In May 1999, three pairs of Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata were breeding at an oasis called Tamentit, near Adrar, in the Algerian Sahara; this locality is situated 600 to 800 km south of the species’ regular breeding range. Whether this record represents a recent breeding range extension or is due to a lack of ornithological recording is unclear (MOALI, A. and ISENMANN, P. 2001) .

References

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BELBACHIR, F. (2000) Première observation d'une colonie de Capucin bec-d'argent Euodice cantans dans le Sahara central algérien. Alauda 68 (2) pp 149-151.

BirdLife International (2000) Threatened Birds of the World. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

BOUMEZBEUR, A., MOALI, A., ISENMANN P. (2005) Nidification du Fuligule nyroca Aythya nyroca et de l’Échasse blanche Himantopus himantopus en zone saharienne (El Goléa, Algérie). [Note: Breeding of Ferruginous Duck and Black-winged Stilt at El Goléa (Algerian Sahara )]. Alauda 73 (2) pp 143-144.

COULTHARD, N.D. Algeria chapter pp 51-70 in FISHPOOL, L.D.C. and EVANS, M.I. editors (2001) Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority sites for conservation. Newbury and Cambridge, UK. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11).

FELLOUS, A. (2004) A short review of the historical distribution of the Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita) in Algeria. IAGNBI newsletters 3 July 2004 pp 48-49.

FELLOUS, A. MOULAI, R .& JACOB, JP .(2005) Introduction et nidification de la Perruche à collier (Psittacula krameri ) en Algérie. Aves 42/3 pp 272-277.

HEINZEL, H., FITTER, R. and PARSLOW, J. (1996) Oiseaux d’Europe d’Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient by Delachaux et Niestlé S.A., Lausanne (Suisse), ISBN: 2-6030-1010-7.

HOUHAMDI, M. (2009) Note: Hivernage de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) dans Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, nord-est de l’Algérie). [Note: Wintering White-headed Duck in Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Northeast Algeria).] Aves 46(3) pp 136-140.

HOUHAMDI, M., HAFID, H., SEDDIK, S., BOUZEGAG, A., NOUIDJEM, Y., BENSACI,
T., MAAZI, M.-Ch. & SAHEB M., (2008) Hivernage des Grues cendrées (Grus grus) dans le complexe de zones humides des hautes plaines de l'est de l'Algérie [Wintering Common Cranes in the wetland complex of Hauts Plateaux (East Algeria)]. Aves, 45 (2) : 93-103.

MESBAH, M., Nacera Bouchibi Baaziz, Nasser Baaziz, Mouloud Boulkhssaim, Abdelhakim Bouzid, Abdallah Ouldjaoui, Abdennour Boucheker, Riad Nedjah, Laïd Touati, Farrah Samraoui and Boudjéma Samraoui (2013) Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus breeding attempts on the Hauts Plateaux and in the Algerian Sahara, in 2011–13. ABC Bulletin 21(2) pp 187-192.

METALLAOUI, S. & HOUHAMDI, M. (2008) Données préliminaires sur l'avifaune aquatique de la Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, nord-est algérien. ABC Bulletin 15(1) pp. 71-76.

MOALI, A. and ISENMANN, P. (2000) Oiseaux D'Algérie / Birds of Algeria. Société d’Etudes Ornithologiques de France, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Bibliothèque, 55 Rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France. ISBN 2-9506-5488-6. NHBS Stock Code: #055357A, SEO, France. It contains an annotated checklist of the 406 bird species recorded in Algeria to 1999. It includes information on the main landscapes of this country, a catalogue of all its bird species, a bio-geographical analysis of the breeding species and the place of Algeria in the Palearctic and trans-Saharan migration system. The annotated checklist provides data on the species' status, phenology, distribution, habitat and reproduction. 336 pages, 115 colour photos, 210 maps

MOALI, A. and ISENMANN, P. (2001) LeGobemouche gris Muscicapa striata niche dans une oasis en plein Sahara. Alauda 68(2) pp 154-155.

MOALI-GRINE, N., MOALI, A. et ISENMANN, P. (2004) L'essor démographique de la Cigogne blanche Ciconia ciconia en Algérie entre 1995 et 2001. Alauda 72(1) pp 47-52.

ROCHE J. C. and CHEVEREAU J. (1998) A Sound guide of the Birds of North-West Africa. Centre Bioacoustique alpin.

SEDDIK, S., BOUAGUEL, L., BOUGOUDJIL, S., MAAZI, M-C., SAHEB, M., METALLAOUI, S. and HOUHAMDI, M. (2012) L'avifaune aquatique de la Garaet de Timerganine et des zones humides des Hauts Plateaux de l'est algérien. ABC Bulletin 19(1) pp 25-32.

Contacts

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 13:09 -- abc_admin

African Bird Club representative

The African Bird Club is seeking to appoint a representative in this region. If you are interested in supporting and promoting the Club, have any queries or require further information relating to the ABC representatives scheme, please contact the Membership Secretary at membership@africanbirdclub.org.

Country bird recorders and checklist compilers

Paul Isenmann
CEFE/CNRS
1919 Route de Mende
F-34293
Montpellier Cedex 5
France

isenmann@cefe.cnrs.fr

Aïssa Moali
e-mail: aissa.moali@caramail.com

Clubs

Réseau algérien d'observateurs ornithologiques
e-mail: : reseauornitho_dz@yahoo.fr

Discussion Forum

There is a discussion forum on Algerian birds at
http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/oiseauxalgerie/

Conservation

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 13:08 -- abc_admin
Algeria_Dayet_Oum_el_Ghellaz

Dayet Oum el Ghellaz Algeria

Image Credit: 
Aïssa Moali
El_Bayadh_Algeria

El Bayadh Algeria

Image Credit: 
Amina Fellous
El_Bayadh_Algeria

El Bayadh Algeria

Image Credit: 
Amina Fellous

In common with many African countries, Algeria has a number of environmental issues including inadequate supplies of drinking water, soil erosion from overgrazing and other poor farming practices, desertification, dumping of raw sewage, petroleum refining wastes, the pollution of rivers and coastal waters. The Mediterranean, in particular, is becoming polluted from oil wastes, soil erosion, and fertiliser run-off.

Algeria is party to a number of international agreements including Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution and Wetlands.

Algeria is also party to the Ramsar convention and 40 sites have been classified as wetlands of international importance.

Following a decline until 1991, the breeding population of European White Stork Ciconia ciconia in Algeria has increased. Surveys carried out in the period 1995 to 2001 indicated a 75% increase in breeding pairs during that period (MOALI-GRINE, N., MOALI, A. et ISENMANN, P. 2004)

Newsletter 3 of the International Advisory Group for Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita includes a review of its historical distribution in Algeria (FELLOUS, A. 2004). The following photographs show its last reported breeding area and nesting cliffs at El Bayadh.

Books & Sounds

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 12:52 -- abc_admin

If you are planning to bird in North Africa then a good Western Palearctic guide will suffice. The Collins guide, in any of its forms, or the Lars Jonsson guide are probably the most comprehensive.

You can purchase these and other books from WildSounds, one of the largest specialist UK mail-order companies, via our book and media sales page. Many birdwatchers are not only interested in birds, so we have added the most useful books for other taxa on this page.

*** Wildsounds donates 5% of each order generated via these links to the ABC Conservation Fund. Please order here, get a good price and support ABC! ***

Book image: 
Book info: 
Collins Bird Guide (2nd edition), Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström, HarperCollins, Softback, Hardback and Large format hardback.
Book description: 

The most complete field guide to the birds of Britain, Europe, North Africa, most of the Middle East, the Canaries and Madeira. Written by one of Europe's leading ornithologists Lars Svensson (with a translation by David Christie) and illustrated by two of the world's finest bird illustrators - Killian Mullarney and Dan Zetterström. This book provides all the information needed to identify any species at any time of year, with detailed text on size, habitat, range, identification and voice.

Accompanying every species entry is a distribution map and colour illustrations (over 3500 in all) to show the species in all the major plumages (male, female, immature, in flight, at rest, feeding). The book is fully integrated, so that all this information appears on one spread, the ideal structure for use in the field. Each group of birds has an introduction, which covers the major problems involved in identifying or seeing them: how to organise a sea watching trip, how to separate birds of prey in flight, which duck hybrids can be confused with which species, etc.

The combination of definitive text, up-to-date distribution maps and superb illustrations, all in a single volume, makes this book the ultimate field guide, essential on every bookshelf and birdwatching trip.

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of Europe with North Africa & The Middle East, Lars Jonsson, Helm, Softback and Hardback.
Book description: 

Still one of the better field guides. Covers all but a few of the Western Palearctic's breeding birds. 400 superb colour plates by the author Lars Jonsson.

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Songs of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Andreas Schulze & Karl-Heinz Dingler, Edition Ample, 2 MP3 Discs.
Book description: 

2,817 sound recordings of the songs, calls and other sounds of 819 bird species. The birds are systematically arranged so similar species can be easily compared.

MP3 Tags include the French, German, English and scientific name although this information is not easily accessible and it is difficult to navigate through the sounds using this information. The MP3 product still requires the use of the booklets for indexing and explanatory notes. A printed index in German, English and French is provided (although the English index uses the complete name so "Long-tailed Duck" is indexed under "L" and not "D" as in "Duck, Long-tailed"). A booklet providing details of the recordings is available on the DVD in PDF format.

Each bird species has one to five separate, consecutive tracks or MP3 files. This enables you to choose the calls separately from the songs, for example, which in practice brings obvious advantages.

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Bird Sounds of Europe & North-west Africa, Jean C. Roché & Jérôme Chevereau, WildSounds, Boxed 10 CD Set.
Book description: 

Reprinting due to popular demand! Songs and calls of 483 species and sub-species, with longer and more extensive vocalisations than previous CD publications. Species are in systematic order and are indexed by track number only and not interrupted by announcements. Each CD is fully indexed on the sleeve by track/species order as well as by species name (common and alternative). Accompanying 48 page booklet is fully indexed by scientific, common and alternative names and provides details of the type and duration of the sounds. Plays for almost 12 hours!

Media type: 
Book image: 
Book info: 
Birds of North-West Africa, Jean C Roché, Jérôme Chevereau, Sittelle, CD.
Book description: 

Contains the songs and calls of 52 carefully chosen species and interesting sub-species variations. The area covered includes Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco south to the Sahara, encompassing the Atlas Mountains. The species are indexed for instant access. A stereo concert, from the extraordinary temporary lakes that develop in Morocco every ten years or so, precedes the sound guide. Only on CD.

Media type: 

Visiting

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 12:13 -- abc_admin
Rock_Martin_nest_Algeria

Rock Martin Hirundo fuligula nest Algeria

Image Credit: 
Aïssa Moali

Birding tours

We know of no tours planned to Algeria.

Trip reports

A wildlife survey of the Ahaggar Mountains was carried out in March 2005. The survey concentrated on mammal sightings but bird observations are documented also. There is useful information regarding the logisitcs of travel in Algeria. This extensive report (6mb) can be downloaded here *.

Guides

There are no birding guides known in Algeria.

Logistics

Information about travel in Algeria can be found at world66.

Safety

It is worth consulting your national foreign office websites such as US Travel and UK FCO for the latest safety and travel information before travelling. It is vital that you do not under-estimate the danger of being in the sun too long and it is worth using a sun-block and wearing a hat. You should also drink plenty of water, certainly a few litres a day. Algeria is not a malaria zone nor are tropical diseases a major concern.

* In order to view and print this paper, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Hotspots

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Djebel Babor is probably the best place to find the endemic Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti, the site where the species was first discovered and described in 1975. The population at this site was estimated in 1982 to be 80 pairs. The site is located in the Petite Kabylie mountain range, which runs roughly parallel to the Mediterranean coast, south and east of the coastal town of Bejaia and north-west of Constantine, and lying only 20 km from the coast. The Djebel Babor forms a long crest within the mountain range, extending over 4 km and reaching a peak of 1,995 m. Three other species of the Mediterranean North African biome have also been recorded at this site: Levaillant’s Woodpecker Picus vaillantii; Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans and Moussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri. A number of raptors have also been recorded including breeding Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus, Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus, Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus and probable Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus.

Subsequent to the discovery of Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti at Djebel Babor, larger populations were found at Parc National de Taza in 1989. In 1990, it was also found to be widely distributed in two other nearby forests in the Petite Kabylie, namely Tamentout (9,500 ha up to an altitude of 1,626 m) and Djimla (1,000 ha up to 1,352 m). The four known sites all lie within about 30 km of each other, but it is not yet known whether there is any interchange of birds between the sites.

The coastal lagoons around El Kala are considered to be the most important site for breeding waterbirds in eastern Algeria and one of the most important in the Mediterranean. Lac Tonga is one of the six IBAs in this complex and lies about 70 km to the east of the northern city of Annaba and about 5 km west of the Tunisian border. The site comprises a marshy basin and a shallow, seasonal freshwater to brackish lake bounded in the north by an extensive sand dune system. Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala breed at this site as have the following species: Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis, Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris, Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, Grey Heron A. cinerea, Common Pochard Aythya ferina and Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio. The site is also important in winter with large number of Greylag Goose Anser anser, Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope, Common Teal Anas crecca, Northern Pintail Anas acuta and Eurasian Coot Fulica atra having been recorded. Several raptor species have been reported from the site including European Honey Buzzard Pernis apivorus, Short-toed Snake Eagle Circaetus gallicus, Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus, Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus, Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina and Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo.

Species

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:58 -- abc_admin
Black_shouldered_Kite_Algeria

Black-shouldered Kite Elanus caeruleus Algeria

Image Credit: 
O. Peyre and G. Durand

Country checklist and status

You can download and print a checklist for Algeria.

An annotated checklist in both English and French of the 406 bird species recorded in Algeria up to 1999 has been published in Oiseaux D'Algérie / Birds of Algeria (MOALI, A. and ISENMANN, P. 2000).

Endemic species

Algerian Nuthatch

Sitta ledanti

Near endemic species (found in 3 or less African countries)

Levaillant’s Woodpecker Picus vaillantii
Moussier’s Redstart Phoenicurus moussieri

Threatened species

Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus Critical
Northern Bald Ibis* Geronticus eremita Critical
White-headed Duck

Oxyura leucocephala

Endangered
Marbled Teal

Marmaronetta angustirostris

Vulnerable
Lesser Kestrel

Falco naumanni

Vulnerable
Great Bustard Otis tarda Vulnerable
Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata Vulnerable
Slender-billed Curlew* Numenius tenuirostris Critical
Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti Endangered

* There have been no records of these species in Algeria since 1980 and they are believed to be extirpated.

The lists of endemic, near endemic and threatened species have been compiled from a number of sources including the African Bird Club, BirdLife International, and Birds of the World Version 2.0 ® 1994-1996, Dr. Charles Sibley and Thayer Birding Software, Ltd. For further information on Algeria’s threatened species, BirdLife International .

Important Bird Areas

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:52 -- abc_admin
Algerian_Nuthatch_Habitat

Habitat for Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti Algeria

Image Credit: 
Aïssa Moali

Algeria is important for raptors, waterbirds including migrant wintering species, and large steppe birds. It has one endemic species Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti which is a restricted range species, the distribution of which defines the North Algerian mountains secondary Endemic Bird Area. Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti is known from four sites all within 30 km of each other on forested slopes above 1,000 m in the Petite Kabylie mountain range in the Tell region.

Algeria’s wetlands, in particular those along the coast and on the plateau south of Constantine, are of huge importance for migratory and resident waterbirds including three globally threatened species Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala. The coastline and offshore islands are significant for breeding seabirds notably Audouin’s Gull Larus audouinii.

Elements of two biome restricted species occur in Algeria: all 17 species of the Mediterranean North Africa biome and 15 of the 22 species restricted to the Sahara-Sindian biome.

A total of 31 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) have been identified in Algeria which cover 130,000 km2 or some 5.5% of the land surface (although the exact boundaries of some sites remain undefined). The sites are clustered in the northern part of the country with 23 in the Tell region.

The wetlands of the El Kala complex near the coast, east of Annaba include the following 6 IBAs: Lac Oubeïra; Lac Tonga; Lac Melah; Bou Redim; Lac des Oiseaux / Garaet et Touyour and Marais de Mekhada. The wetlands to the south of the town of Constantine are known as the ‘Chotts Constantinois’ and include the following 5 IBAs: Sebkhet Baker; Chott de Tinnsilt; Sebkhet Ez-Zemoul; Sebkhet Djendli and Garaet et-Tarf.

The remaining 11 wetland sites are: Barrage de la Cheffia; Lac Fetzara; Complexe de zones humides de la plaine de Guerbes-Sanhadja; Barrage de Boughzoul; Dayette Morsli - Plaine de Remila (Dayet El Ferd); Marais de la Macta; Sebkha d'Oran; Chott Merouane et Oued Khrouf; Garet el-Haaies el Beni Mohammed; Îles Habibas and Île Rachgoune.

The following 2 sites hold populations of the Algerian Nuthatch Sitta ledanti: Djebel Babor and Parc National de Taza. The following 2 sites hold colonies of Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni: Parc National du Djurdjura and Parc National du Belezma.

El Bayadh lies in the Saharan Atlas mountain range and a small colony of Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita was reported from this area into the early 1980s.

The remaining 4 IBAs hold species of the Sahara-Sindian biome: Aïn Sefra and Béni Abbès are in the west of the country towards the Moroccan border and Parc National du Tassili N'Ajjer and Parc National de l'Ahaggar are located in the far south-east of the country.

For further details, download the country IBAs from BirdLife International.

Geography

Thu, 01/03/2013 - 11:48 -- abc_admin
Algeria_Desert

Algeria Desert

Image Credit: 
Aïssa Moali

The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria is the second largest country in Africa after Sudan with a land area of 2,381,740 km2 and an estimated population of about 32 million. The maximum north-south and east-west distances are both about 2,000 km. Algeria is located in northern Africa between Morocco and Tunisia and borders the Mediterranean Sea (with a coastline of about 1,350 km) as well as Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Western Sahara. The terrain is mostly high plateau and desert with some mountains and a narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. The highest point is Tahat at 3,003 m above sea level.

Geographically, the country can be divided into four distinct regions of topography and climate in parallel bands running roughly south-west to north-east. From the Mediterranean southwards, these are as follows: the Tell region, including the coastal strip and the Tell Atlas mountains; the ‘Hauts Plateaux’; the Saharan Atlas mountains; the Sahara desert, the latter covering more than 85% of the country.

The climate is arid to semi-arid with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers along the coast. The high plateau is drier with cold winters and hot summers. The sirocco is a hot, dust and sand-laden wind especially common in summer. The official language is Arabic and French and Berber dialects are spoken. More details can be found at CIA Factbook.

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