Atlantic Sahara

  • Where to watch birds in the Atlantic Sahara. Revision September 2011on-line Bergier, P. 2011. Où voir les oiseaux dans le Sahara Atlantique marocain – Mise à jour septembre 2011 (rév. 1.0). Go-South Bull. 8 : numéro spécial. 98 pages.

    Call for contribution

    I need your help to translate this paper into English. You will find attached on-line the current status of the translation: if you have a couple of minutes, you may translate one or several chapters and forward your translation to me at pbergier@yahoo.fr (don’t pay attention to the bird and animal names, I will do).

    Thanks a lot in advance!
    Atlantic Sahara birds list and additional information

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Thévenot, M. & Qninba, A. 2010. Liste des oiseaux du Sahara Atlantique marocain. Mise à jour février 2010 (rév. 1.0). Go-South Bull. 7 : 109-120.
    Anser fabalis – Bean Goose – Oie des moissons

    A bird at Khnifiss on 31 January 2014 (Jari Pitkäkoski, Seppo Järvinen, Kalle Larsson, Kari Haataja). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara.
    Aythya affinis – Lesser Scaup – Fuligule à tête noire
    A male photographed at Mijk, Dakhla, present from mid-April through mid-May 2011 at least (F. Chevalier). First record for the Atlantic Sahara (accepted by MRBC, file #11/39).

    Mergus serrator – Red-breasted Merganser – Harle huppé
    A female (or 2nd-year male) photographed at Khnifiss on 18 February 2011 (K.S. Olsen et al.). First record for the Atlantic Sahara (accepted by MRBC, file #11/20).

    Pterodroma madeira – Zino’s Petrel – Pétrel de Madère
    Geolocators have been fitted to several birds and data show that this species occurs in the Moroccan South Atlantic waters mainly during their breeding season, from April to late September (Zino, F. ; Phillips, R. & Biscoito, M. 2011. Zino’s Petrel movements at sea – a preliminary analysis of dattalogger results. Birding World 24: 216-219).

    Pterodroma deserta – Bugio Petrel – Pétrel de Bugio
    Le Pétrel de Bugio a récemment été séparé de Pterodroma feae/madeira : ‘It is widely accepted that the gadfly petrels of the Macaronesian islands comprise three closely related and morphologically similar taxa, Pterodroma madeira from Madeira island, P. deserta (also treated as P. feae deserta) from Bugio and P. feae (also treated as P. feae feae) from Cape Verde Islands. However, the taxonomic rank of each taxon is not well defined, and has been subject to a long debate. Partial sequences of cytochrome b (893 bp) from 39 individuals (five from Madeira, 18 from nearby Bugio, and 16 from Fogo) and morphometric data from five characters from 102 individuals (74 from Bugio and 28 from Fogo in Cape Verde), were used to compare and estimate phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic status of these petrels. In the phylogenetic analysis and sequence divergence estimation, we also include 23 sequences of 19 Pterodroma species available from GenBank. Our results show that Macaronesian gadfly petrels form a monophyletic clade. Birds from Bugio and Cape Verde are the most closely related taxa followed by those from Madeira. The group formed by the three taxa studied is closely related to Bermuda Petrel P. cahow and Black-capped Petrel P. hasitata… The level of sequence divergence is sufficient to consider the populations of Bugio and Cape Verde as separate species. Reproductive isolation is supported by exclusive haplotypes and fixed changes. Despite the presence of some significant differences in bill and tarsus measurements, the two species seem to be morphologically similar because the great overlap of variation intervals in the measurements hinders identification. It therefore appears suitable for consideration as a cryptic species. An important conservation implication is that the world population of both species is very small; if treated as a full species, deserta on Bugio may qualify for uplisting to ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List’ (Jesus, J. ; Menezes, D. ; Gomes, S. ; Oliveira, P. ; Nogales, M. & Brehm, A. 2009. Phylogenetic relationships of Gadfly petrels Pterodroma spp. from the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean: molecular evidence for specific status of Bugio and Cape Verde petrels and implications for conservation.Bird Conservation International 19: 199-214).
    Au cours de ses déplacements, l’espèce fréquente les eaux Sahara Atlantique marocain (Ramírez, I. ; Paiva, V.H. ; Menezes, D. ; Silva, I. ; Phillips, R.A. ; Ramos, J.A. & Garthe, S. 2013. Year-round distribution and habitat preferences of the Bugio petrel. Marine Ecology Progress Series 476: 269-284).

    Aquila pomarina – Aigle pomarin – Lesser Spotted Eagle
    Onrubia et al. 2011 (Onrubia, A. ; Muñoz, A.-R. ; Arroyo, G.M. ; Ramírez, J. ; De La Cruz, A. ; Barrios, L. ; Meyburg, B.-U. ; Meyburg, C. & Langgemach, T. 2011. Autumn migration of Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina in the Strait of Gibraltar: accidental or regular? Ardea 99: 113-116) have detected a regular although small passage of birds through the Straits of Gibraltar, and some of them reach Western Africa. The status in Atlantic Sahara is ‘AV’
    Le passage régulier d’un petit nombre d’individus vient d’être mis en évidence au niveau du détroit de Gibraltar et une partie d’entre eux atteint l’Afrique de l’Ouest (Onrubia et al. 2011). Le statut de l’espèce est ‘AV’

    Porphyrio alleni – Talève d’Allen – Allen’s Gallinule
    A bird was found dead on the island in Dakhla Bay mid March 2012 (M. Duckham et al.). First record for the Atlantic Sahara.

    Charadrius morinellus – Dotterel – Pluvier guignard
    A bird photographed at Mijk, 29 November 2009. First record for the Atlantic Sahara (Chevalier & Bergier 2011).

    Actitis macularia – Spotted Sandpiper – Chevalier grivelé
    A bird in summer plumage in the Oued Noun at Fort Bou Jérif on 26 April 2012 (P. Parodi & M. Roost fide E. Albegger). First record for the Atlantic Sahara.

    Calidris malanotos – Upland Sandpiper – Chevalier tâcheté
    A bird photographed at Oued Noun near Fort Bou Jérif on 20 October 2013 (Ramírez, J. ; Aguilera, A. ; González del Campo, P. & Bergier, P. 2013. Les observations de Bécasseau tacheté (Calidris melanotos) au Maroc et première mention dans le Sahara Atlantique marocain. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 246-249.). First record for the Atlantic Sahara.

    Bartramia longicauda – Upland Sandpiper – Bartramie des champs
    A bird photographed at Ferme du Maraîchage du Sahara 1, 11 October 2013. First record for Morocco and the the Atlantic Sahara (Chevalier, F. & Bergier, P. 2013. Première mention de la Bartramie des champs (Bartramia longicauda) au Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 235-237).

    Stercorarius maccormicki – South Polar Skua – Labbe de McCormick
    Le Labbe de McCormick a récemment été séparé du Grand Labbe Stercorarius skua (Crochet et al. 2011, Sangster et al. 2011). Kopp et al. (2011) ont suivi plusieurs oiseaux de la colonie de l’Ile du Roi George, Antarctique : ‘Overall, 27 birds (69%) migrated to the northern Atlantic (3 regions including one off Mauritania i.e., south of Georges Bank Cape Verde Plateau), 10 birds (26%) to the northern Pacific Ocean (2 regions), and 2 birds wintered in the southern hemisphere’. Comme le montre la figure présentée dans l’article, ceux qui hivernent au large de la Mauritanie sont suceptibles de passer près des côtes du Sahara Atlantique : nous recommandons de bien observer les ‘Grands Labbes’ lors de sorties en mer, voire même lors de séances de sea-watching depuis la côte.

    Crochet, P.-A. ; Barthel, P.H. ; Bauer, H.-G. ; van den Berg, A.B. ; Bezzel, E. ; Collinson, J.M. ; Dietzen, C. ; Dubois, P.J. ; Fromholtz, J. ; Helbig, A.J. ; Jiguet, F. ; Jirle, E. ; Knox, A.G. ; Krüger, T. ; Le Maréchal, P. ; van Loon, A.J. ; Päckert, M. ; Parkin, D.T. ; Pons, J.-M. ; Raty, L. ; Roselaar, C.S. ; Sangster, G. ; Steinheimer, F.D. ; Svensson, L. ; Tyrberg, T. ; Votier, S.C. & Yésou, P. 2011. AERC TAC’s taxonomic recommendations: 2011 report. Available online at http://www.aerc.eu/tac.html.

    Kopp, M. ; Peter, H.U. ; Mustafa, O. ; Lisovski, S. ; Ritz, M.S. ; Phillips, R.A. & Hahn, S. 2011. South polar skuas from a single breeding population overwinter in different oceans though show similar migration patterns. Marine Ecology Progress Series 435: 263-267.

    Sangster, G. ; Collinson, J.M. ; Crochet, P.-A. ; Knox, A.G. ; Parkin, D.T. ; Svensson, L. & Votier, S.C. 2011. Taxonomic recommendations for British birds: seventh report. Ibis 153: 883-892.

    Larus hyperboreus – Glaucous Gull – Goéland bourgmestre
    A first-winter was at Khnifiss on 15-16 January 2012 (A.B. van den Berg & C. Bosman). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara

    Larus glaucoides – Goéland à ailes blanches – Iceland Gull
    Un oiseau de premier hiver photographié à l’Oued Chebeika le 4 février 2014. Première mention pour le Sahara Atlantique marocain (Cees de Vries).

    Larus dominicanus – Cape Gull – Goéland dominicain et Larus marinus – Great Black-backed Gull – Goéland marin
    It appears that most of records and all breeding large dark gulls at Khnifiss are of GBBGs. There are only a few proved records of Cape Gulls in Morocco and the Western Palearctic (Jönsson, O. 2011. Great Black-backed Gulls breeding at Knifiss lagoon, Morocco and the status of Cape Gull in the Western Palearctic. Birding World 24: 68-76). The status of Cape Gull is amended to AV and the status of Great Black-backed Gull to WV, OB.
    Re-analysis of records following Jönsson’s paper available here on-line.

    Caprimulgus aegyptius – Egyptian Nightjar – Engoulevent d’Egypte
    A bird found dead on the road to Awserd, 100 km west of the town, 29 November 2012 (M. Mediani). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara.

    Apus unicolor – Plain Swift – Martinet unicolore
    First authenticated record: a bird photographed at Layoune on 17 February 2011 (T.A. Olsen. Accepted by MRBC, file #11/12)

    Apus caffer – White-rumped Swift – Martinet cafre
    Première mention : un en migration vers le nord près de Foum Assaka le 25 mars 2013 (P. & M. Geniez)

    Merops albicollis – White-throated Bee-eater – Guêpier à gorge blanche
    Un les 5 et 6 décembre à Gleb Jdiane. Première mention pour le Sahara Atlantique et le Maroc (Noëlle et Hervé Jacob)

    Riparia paludicola – Plain Martin – Hirondelle paludicole
    A bird photographed at Khnifiss on 15 January 2012 (A.B. van den Berg & C. Bosman). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara

    Troglodytes troglodytes – Wren – Troglodyte mignon
    One heard at Tighmert oases near Goulimine on 22 February 2011 (N. Delelis et al.). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara.

    Acrocephalus melanopogon – Moustached Warbler – Lusciniole à moustaches
    One recorded at Lamsied on 11 February 2011 (W. Soar). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara.

    Hippolais pallida – Saharan Olivaceous Warbler – Hypolaïs pâle
    Several records, see e.g. Bergier, P. ; Qninba, A. & Thévenot, M. 2011. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 3. Go-South Bull. 8 : 67-103.

    Sylvia undata – Dartford Warbler – Fauvette pitchou
    One recorded between Dakhla and Boujdour (333 km South of Layoune) early January 2011, in a wadi with acacias and green annuals (F. Verdonckt)

    Sylvia cantillans – Subalpine Warbler – Fauvette passerinette
    Svensson, L. 2013. A taxonomic revision of the Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 133: 240-248. [Recommended split of the complex into three separate species: Western Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia inornata), with two subspecies: inornata and iberiae (a new subspecies described in the paper for the birds breeding in the Iberian Peninsula, southern France and extreme north-west Italy), Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans), with two subspecies: cantillans and albistriata, and Moltoni’s Warbler (Sylvia subalpina, monotypic). The taxon cantillans, historically associated with western birds (i.e. from Iberia), is now one of the subspecies of the Eastern Subalpine Warbler because the type specimen of cantillans is a bird collected from Italy and found out to belong to the Eastern Subalpine Warbler. Subalpine Warbler breeding in north-west Africa which were known as Sylvia cantillans inornata becomes the nominate subspecies of the Western Subalpine Warbler Sylvia inornata inornata]

    Regulus ignicapilla – Firecrest – Roitelet à triple bandeau
    One recorded at Smara, 5 April 1973 (Congost-Tor 1976).

    Ficedula albicollis – Collared Flycatcher – Gobemouche à collier
    One photographed at Café Chtoukane on 11 April 2011 (Miguel Demeulemeester, Wouter Faveyts, Joost Mertens and Piet Opstaele). First record for the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara (accepted by MRBC, file #11/52).

    Plectrophenax nivalis – Snow Bunting – Bruant des neiges
    One photographed at Imlili on 10 February 2014 (Ramos, J.J. ; González del Campo, P. ; Delgado, A. & Perez, N. 2014. First record of Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) in the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 11 : 17-18.).

     

    Ornithological references

    The ornithological references of Atlantic Sahara are listed in:

    on-line Bergier, P. & Thévenot, M.

    2009. Bibliographie ornithologique du Sahara Atlantique marocain.
    Go-South Bull.

    6 : 92-100.
    on-line Bergier, P. & Thévenot, M.

    2011. Bibliographie ornithologique du Sahara Atlantique marocain – 2.
    Go-South Bull.

    8 : 53-60.
    on-line Bergier, P. & Thévenot, M.

    2013. Bibliographie ornithologique du Sahara Atlantique marocain – 3.
    Go-South Bulletin

    10 : 224-230.

    A synthesis and new papers are available here on-line
    Selection of recent papers

  • Bergier, P. ; Houllier, J.R. & Thévenot, M. 2014. L’exploration ornithologique du Sahara Atlantique marocain : une représentation diachronique. Go-South Bulletin 11 : 73-84.
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    on-line De Vries, C. & Bergier, P. 2014. First record of Iceland Gull (Larus glaucoides) in the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 11 : 33-36.on-line Moores, R. & Brown, D. 2014. A range reinforcement of Lesser Leaf-nosed Bat Hipposideros (caffer) tephrus to the lower reaches of the Oued Noun and further mammal records from the Lower Draa. Go-South Bulletin 11 : 19-30.on-line Ramos, J.J. ; González del Campo, P. ; Delgado, A. & Perez, N. 2014. First record of Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) in the Moroccan Atlantic Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 11 : 17-18.
    on-line Moores, R. & Brown, D. 2013. African Savannah Hare Lepus microtis near Tantan – a new mammal species for North Moroccan Atlantic Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 263-265.

    on-line Ramírez, J. ; Aguilera, A. ; González del Campo, P. & Bergier, P. 2013. Les observations de Bécasseau tacheté (Calidris melanotos) au Maroc et première mention dans le Sahara Atlantique marocain. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 246-249.

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Alifal, M. ; Chevalier, F. ; El Balla, T. ; Qninba, A. ; Semlali, M.L. & Thévenot, M. 2013. Observations dans le massif du Negjyr, plus d’un demi-siècle après José Antonio Valverde. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 238-245.

    on-line Chevalier, F. & Bergier, P. 2013. Première mention de la Bartramie des champs (Bartramia longicauda) au Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 235-237.

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Thévenot, M. ; Qninba, A. ; Samlali, M.A. & El Balla, T. 2013. Les Grands Cormorans Phalacrocorax carbo maroccanus / lucidus dans le Sahara Atlantique marocain.Go-South Bulletin 10 : 208-220.

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Thévenot, M. ; van den Berg, A.B. & The Sound Approach 2013. Distribution, habitat, identification and taxonomy of Streaked Scrub Warbler in Morocco. Dutch Birding 35: 107-121.

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Thévenot, M. & Qninba, A. 2013. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 5. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 113-197.

    on-line Mediani, M. ; Radi, M. ; Slimani, T. ; El Mouden, H. ; El Idrissi Essougrati, A. & Qninba, A. 2013. Première mention de l’Engoulevent du désert (Caprimulgus aegyptius) dans l’Oued Ad Deheb et possible hivernage dans le sud du Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 102-105.

    on-line Bergier, P. 2013. L’exploration ornithologique du Sahara Atlantique marocain. Go-South Bulletin 10 : 29-75.

    on-line Qninba, A. ; Bennani, A. ; Benyelloul, A. ; Samlali, M.L. & El Agbani, M.A. 2012. Reproduction possible de la Sterne royale Sterna maxima au Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 150-151.

    on-line Qninba, A. ; Khayya, M.L. ; Samlali, M.L. & Radi, M. 2012. Nidification du Goéland leucophée Larus michahellis dans les régions des baies de Dkhayla et d’Oued Eddahab (Sahara Atlantique marocain). Go-South Bulletin 9 : 145-149.

    on-line Qninba, A. ; Safsaf, M.A. ; Samlali, M.L. & Bergier, P. 2012. Nidifications originales de Tourterelles dans la ville de Dakhla. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 136-139.

    on-line Moores, R. ; Brown, D. & Martin, R. 2012. New data on the terrestrial mammals of the Oued Ad-Dehab region of Western Sahara. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 133-135.

    on-line Kayser, Y. 2012. Régime alimentaire du Grand-Duc d’Afrique du Nord Bubo ascalaphus au Cap Tafarit, Parc National du Banc d’Arguin, Mauritanie. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 131-132.

    on-line Moores, R. ; Brown, D. ; Martin, R. & Lees, A.C. 2012. Status and identification of hares Lepus sp. in Western Sahara and Southern Morocco. Go-South Bulletin 9 : 126-130.

    on-line Bergier, P. Thévenot, M. & Qninba, A. 2012. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 4. Go-South Bull. 9 : 46-125.

    on-line Bergier, P. ; Maire, B. & Mathurin, A. 2012. Records of doves Streptopelia at Awserd, Oued Ad-Deheb. Go-South Bull. 9 : 7-12.

    on-line Chevalier, F. ; Thévenot, M. & Bergier, P. 2012. Notes sur quelques mammifères terrestres observés près de Dakhla, Oued Ad-Deheb. Go-South Bull. 9 : 1-6.

    on-line Chevalier, F. & Bergier, P. 2011. Notes sur quelques oiseaux observés près de Dakhla, Oued Ad-Deheb. Go-South Bull. 8 : 114-124.

    on-line Castell, P. ; Castell, R. ; Jackson, A. & Pleasance, B. 2011. The nest of Cricket Longtail Spiloptila clamans at Oued Jenaa, Awserd. Go-South Bull. 8 : 113.
    on-line Bergier, P. ; Qninba, A. & Thévenot, M. 2011. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 3. Go-South Bull. 8 : 67-103.
    on-line Charlton, T.D. 2011. First record of Cricket Warblers in South Atlantic Morocco, September 2007. Go-South Bull. 8 : 38-40.
    on-line Cuzin, F. ; Bergier, P. & Thévenot, M. 2011. Les observations de Sangliers Sus scrofa dans le Sahara Atlantique marocain). Go-South Bull. 8 : 35-37.
    on-line Qninba, A. ; Radi, M. ; Amezian, M. ; Ibn Tattou, M. ; Khayya, M.L. ; Samlali, M.L. ; Khalil, M.L & Hammia, A. 2011. Nidifications automnales d’oiseaux sahariens dans la région d’Oued Ad-Dahab – Lagouira (Maroc méridional). Go-South Bull. 8 : 21-34.
    on-line Bergier, P. ; Qninba, A. ; El Agbani, M.A. & Dakki, M. 2010. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain – 2. Go-South Bull. 7 : 56-88.
    on-line Radi, M. ; Bergier, P. ; El Idrissi, A. ; Qninba, A. ; Zadane, Y. & Dakki, M. 2009. Hivernage de la Bernache cravant Branta bernicla à Khnifiss. Go-South Bull. 6 : 72-75.
    on-line Qninba, A. ; El Idrissi Essougrati, A. ; Bensouiba, H. ; Irizi, M. & Bergier, P. 2009. Nidification de l’Aigrette garzette Egretta garzetta dans la retenue de barrage d’Al Massira-Layoune en 2009. Go-South Bull. 6 : 104-106.
    on-line Zadane, Y. ; Qninba, A. ; Ibn Tattou, M. & Bergier, P. 2009. La daya de Ténouchad, un site de reproduction des Anatidés dans le Parc National de Khnifiss. Go-South Bull. 6 : 107-112.
    on-line Bergier, P. & Thévenot, M. 2008. Notes naturalistes au Sahara Atlantique marocain, février-mars 2008. Go-South Bull. 5 : 78-97.
    on-line Thévenot, M. & Bergier, P. 2008. Considérations sur les récentes découvertes avifaunistiques dans les environs d’Awserd (région d’Oued Ad-Deheb, Sahara Atlantique marocain). Go-South Bull. 5 : 98-103.
    on-line Rguibi Idrissi, H. ; Qninba, A. ; El Agbani, M.A. & Benhoussa, A. 2005. Cas d’hivernage du Pipit à gorge rousse Anthus cervinus à Khnifiss (Tarfaya, Maroc). Go-Souh Bull. 2 : 17-18.
    on-line Bergier, P. 2004. Quelques observation d’automne dans le Sahara Atlantique et la région du Bani. Go-South Bull. 1 : 1-6.

    Other references

    on-line Selection of books and other publications

     

    Hébergement – Accomodation & Car rentals in the Atlantic Sahara

    on-line Where to sleep. Hotels, B&Bs, Car Rentals and other good address

     

    Index des sites – Gazetteer

    on-line Index of Atlantic Sahara sites, with their coordinates

    Geo references / markers

    on-line Assa – Zag road (February 2014)
    on-line Tantan – Goulimine road (February 2014)
    on-line Dakhla – Boujdour – Layoune road (February 2014)
    on-line Awserd road (February 2014)
    on-line Bir Anzarane road (February 2014)