An overview of the Rallidae of Algeria with particular reference to the breeding ecology of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio

Abstract

Rallids are good biological models to monitor anthropogenic changes to wetlands. The distribution of the Rallidae was mapped up during a survey of all major wetlands across Algeria and nest site selection, phenology, and breeding parameters of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio were monitored at two distinct sites under contrasting conditions. Data were collected at Boussedra, an unprotected freshwater marsh during the years 2005 and 2008, and at Lake Tonga, a protected freshwater marsh during 2009. The onset of egg-laying was found to occur earlier (mid-February) than was recorded previously (end-March). There was much variation in the egg laying patterns and in the clutch sizes which dropped significantly from 5.8 ± 0.9 (Boussedra 2009) to 3.4 ± 0.9 (Boussedra 2008) and 3.9 ± 1.0 (Tonga 2009). This study, the first investigation of the ecology and conservation of the Purple Swamp-Hen in North Africa, suggests a decline in breeding success associated with steady habitat loss and ineffective enforcement of legislation.

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Acknowledgments

We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their valuable comments on the manuscript. We thank A. Boucheker for help during fieldwork and are most grateful to Luc Hoffmann and staff of the Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat for free access to the Station’s library. This project was supported by NSTIP strategic technologies programs, number (12-ENV2569-02) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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Correspondence to Boudjéma Samraoui.

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Samraoui, F., Nedjah, R., Alfarhan, A.H. et al. An overview of the Rallidae of Algeria with particular reference to the breeding ecology of the Purple Swamp-Hen Porphyrio porphyrio . Wetlands Ecol Manage 23, 505–517 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11273-014-9404-0

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Keywords

  • Clutch size
  • Nest-site selection
  • North Africa
  • Rallidae
  • Waterbirds
  • Wetlands