4th Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) for Tunisia found at Djerba, Gulf of Gabes

Originally posted on North African Birds:

A Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) was found at Djerba Island, Gulf of Gabès (Tunisia) on the 5th January 2015 by Italian ornithologists Andrea Corso, Michele Viganò, Chiara Sibona, Loris Golinelli and Leslie Parks. This is the 4th record for Tunisia.

Un Pluvier fauve (Pluvialis fulva) a été observé à Djerba, dans le golfe de Gabès (Tunisie) le 5 janvier 2015 par les ornithologues italiens Andrea Corso, Michele Viganò, Chiara Sibona, Loris Golinelli and Leslie Parks. C’est la 4ème observation pour la Tunisie de cette espèce rare qui se reproduit au Nord et l’Est de la Russie et l’Ouest de l’Alaska.

Andrea kindly sent us this observation along with the excellent photographs of the bird that Michele took. The following is the email of Andrea:

“Hello my friend

I am a true lover of N African birds and fauna and I visit Tunisia, Morocco, Sinai every…

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Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) at Lebna dam, Cap Bon: 2nd for Tunisia

Originally posted on North African Birds:

A Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) observed last November at Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, northern Tunisia by Csaba Pigniczki and Mohamed Ali Dakhli. The team were surveying the coastal wetlands of Tunisia (from Bizerte to Zarzis) to count and read the colour-rings of the wintering Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) among other things. This is the second observation of this rare species in Tunisia, the first one was in March 1975 near Tabarka.

The Sociable Lapwing is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN red list, and breeds in Russia and Kazakhstan and winters in Sudan, eastern Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and India. It is a rare visitor to the western Mediterranean region.

Thanks to both birdwatchers for the observation!

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarious), Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, Tunisia Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarious), Lebna Reservoir, Cap Bon, northern Tunisia (photo: Csaba Pigniczki).

Global distribution of Sociable Lapwings (Vanellus gregarious) (map: BirdLife International). Global distribution of Sociable Lapwings (Vanellus gregarious) (map: BirdLife International).

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Dutch reptiles use life-saving tunnel

This video is about reptiles in France and Tunisia.

In 2009, herpetologists designed a special wildlife corridor for reptiles and amphibians, a ‘herpetoduct‘ for nature reserve Elspeetsche Heide in the Netherlands.

It is a tunnel under the N310 motorway and a bicycle track, preventing crossing animals from being killed by traffic.

Research at various times in 2012-2014 proves much wildlife, especially lizards, use the tunnel. 16 viviparous lizards used the tunnel. Once, even at least five young viviparous lizards were born in the tunnel. Other species: four sand lizards; one slow worm; two adders; one moor frog; one European toad; one Alpine newt. Also, one smooth snake was seen.

Results of the research were published in the Zeitschrift für Feldherpetologie.

Young flamingo news from Tunisia

This video is called Greater flamingo feeding chick.

From BirdLife:

Firsts for flamingos in Tunisia

Fri, 31/10/2014 – 16:39

Story by Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund Mediterranean Hotspot Regional Implementation Team

This year, for the first time, a small colony of about one hundred Greater Flamingo nested successfully in the Korba Lagoons, northern Tunisia. Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO, BirdLife in Tunisia) quickly mobilized its members and partners to help ring 45 young flamingos, making this also the first time flamingos have been ringed in Tunisia. Ringing the flamingos was a big communual operation involving 80 people, with some volunteers wading into the lagoon to herd the birds.

The project Development of eco-tourism activities for the conservation of Key Biodiversity Areas in northern Tunisia, implemented by AAO and four local Tunisian organisations, and funded by the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF), largely contributed to the discovery and monitoring of this small colony of flamingos. Through the project AAO have increased local capacity for conservation activities, and now have Local Conservation Groups (LCGs) who survey and care for key sites such as the Korba Lagoons, an Important Bird & Biodiversity Area (IBA).

This new colony is exciting for AAO, who recorded the last successful breeding of flamingos in Tunisia in 2007 at Thyna Salines.

“Flamingos often return to their nesting site to breed”, said Hichem Azafzaf, Les Amis des Oiseaux (AAO). “So we hope that through our project to develop ecotourism, we can ensure that Korba Lagoons remain an attractive and biodiversity-rich wintering and breeding site for flamingos to return in the coming years.”

Ringing birds involves fitting a uniquely coded plastic coloured tag to a bird’s leg, which allows a vast network of observers to trace the bird’s movements for conservation science. Young flamingos are covered in grey feathers; it is only after 4 – 7 years that they finally develop their splendid pink plumage which they get from carotenoid pigments in the organisms that live in their feeding grounds.

The Secretary of State for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Mounir Majdoub, helped with the ringing and highlighted the importance of supporting environmental action. This operation also served to raise awareness of the importance of the lagoons and the need for the protection of critical ecosystems in the western Mediterranean.

AAO would also like to that Tour du Valat, who provided technical and scientific support; the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas, who provided financial support; the Coastal Protection and Planning Agency and the Forestry Office, who provided support as managers of the site; and the Local Conservation Group, Association Tunisienne de Protection de la Nature et de l’Environnement de Korba.

BirdLife International – including its Middle East office and the BirdLife Partners DOPPS/BirdLife Slovenia and LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, BirdLife in France) – is providing the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot (CEPF Med).

Irreplaceable area extends marine conservation hotspot off Tunisia: insights from GPS-tracking Scopoli’s shearwaters from the largest seabird colony in the Mediterranean

Originally posted on North African Birds:

Grémillet, D., Péron, C., Pons, J.-B., Ouni, R., Authier, M., Thévenet, M., & Fort, J. (2014). Irreplaceable area extends marine conservation hotspot off Tunisia: insights from GPS-tracking Scopoli’s shearwaters from the largest seabird colony in the Mediterranean. Marine Biology  doi:10.1007/s00227-014-2538-z


Recent meta-analyses identified conservation hotpots at the scale of the Mediterranean, yet those may be crude by lack of detailed information about the spatial ecology of the species involved. Here, we identify an irreplaceable marine area for >95 % of the world population of the Scopoli’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), which is endemic to the Mediterranean and breeds on the island of Zembra off Tunis. To this end, we studied the three-dimensional at-sea movements of 50 breeding adults (over a total of 94 foraging trips) in 2012 and 2013, using GPS and temperature–depth recorders. Feathers were also collected on all birds to investigate their trophic status. Despite…

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