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2013 breeding results in Sous Manssa National Park & Tamri

by Widade OUBROU & Mohammed El Bekkay

I. Introduction:

In the framework of the National Species Action Plan for Northern Bald Ibis,Geronticus eremita, prepared in 2008 by HCEFLCD (High Commission for Water and Forest and Fight against Desertification) with its partners, monitoring NBI is one of the main aspects to follow population dynamics. Collected data are essential to take any decision to manage the last viable NBI population in the world. 

II. Main activities and events in 2013

1. Wardens

Seven wardens are recruited with the cooperation of Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, 4 in Souss Massa National Park and 3 in Tamri area.

2. Site C

Dummies installed at site C faded and are currently dusty. They are not efficient and should be retired.

3. Disturbance

Breeding sites didn't suffer too much disturbance by tourist, compared to previous years. 12 visitors, 9 of them birders, approached Tamri site and two photographers went close to sites A and F, in the Park. Nevertheless, this year site E was very frequented by fishermen just at the beginning of the breeding season. Wardens, assisted by rangers kindly persuaded the fishermen to leave.

4. Waterpoints

Waterpoints are daily cleaned and filled with fresh water by the wardens, during all the breeding season. Their monitoring showed a regular use by adults and, later, fledglings.

2013 breeding season results

Breeding season started in Tamri by the first week of February and finished during the last week of Mai. Unlike the previous year, in 2013 60 pairs produced fledglings from 161 hatchlings. Although survival is relatively low (44%), productivity (1,1 fledgling/nest) is satisfactory.In SMNP breeding started later, by the first week of March, and finished in mid June. A lanner falcon prevented ibises to nest at site B (that usually holds 6 pairs), thus only 53 pairs nested and 77 fledging survived from 101 hatchings (survival 76%; productivity, 1,4 fledgling/nest). Altogether,118 pairs were formed, 113 nested successfully and produced 262 chicks 148 of whom fledged (survival rate, 56%, productivity, 1,3 fledgling/nest).

Table 1. Results at the different sites.

Parameters

SMNP

TAMRI

PNSM & TAMRI

 

Site A

Site B

Site F

Site E

Total

   

Formed pairs

20

0

16

20

56

62

118

Laying pairs  (1)

20

0

15

18

53

60

113

Hatchlings

34

0

34

33

101

161

262

Fledglings (2)

28

0

24

25

77

71

148

Survival rate  (%)

82,3

0

70,5

75,7

76,2

44

56,4

Productivity (2/1)

1,4

0

1,6

1,3

1,4

1,1

1,3

Differences with 2012 (Table 2) are due to the good weather conditions, with rains well distributed between September 2012 and April 2013. 

Table 2. Comparaison between 2012 and 2013

Parameter

SMNP

Tamri

SMNP &Tamri

 

2012

2013

2012

2013

2012

2013

Formed pairs

62

56

43

62

105

118

Laying pairs (1)

54

53

11

60

65

113

Hatchlings

95

101

0

161

95

262

56

77

0

71

56

148

Productivity (2/1)

1

1.4

0

1.1

0.8

1.3

The number of pairs is the highest since the creation of the Park (Figure 1).

NBI development 2013

Figure 1 : Evolution of number of NBI breeding pairs in Souss-Massa region

The number of chicks produced also increased (Figure 2), despite the relatively low survival rates observed in Tamri site, and it's one of the highest even recorded. This mortality could be explained, among other things, by a shortness of food resources available in a region in which there is more disturbance from human activities (tourism development, nomadic herds, ...).

productividad

Figure 2 : Evolution of productivity of NBI population in Souss-Massa region (blue, number of fledglings; red, productivity)

Regular census shows that before breeding there were 319 individuals. After breeding, the number rose to 443 birds (Figure 3) .

censo antes despues

Figure 3: Evolution of NBI population at Souss-Massa region before (blue) and after (pink) breeding. The gap between both figures some years reaches more than 100, meaning that a number of birds disperses outside the prospected area.

It's worth to note that just after breeding, most ibis from Tamri region move to the limits of Souss-Massa National Park. In 2012 this displacement occurred even before, due to the failure of breeding at Tamri (Figure 4).

Tamri-PNSM

Figure 4: Monitoring of NBI numbers between 2011 and 2013

SMNP role is essential for the survival of the species.

IV. Conclusion

NBI had a good breeding season, with a record of 113 breeding pairs, 148 fledglings and a rate of 1,3 fledgling/nest.

After this breeding season, the whole population at Souss-Massa region has been evaluated at 443.