Research Article - (2022) Volume 12, Issue 1

Biodiversity and nesting success of waterbirds at the Bougara Dam (Tissemsilt, North-West of Algeria)

B. Meziane1*, A. Taibi1 and M. Mairif2
*Correspondence: B. Meziane, Department of Natural and Life Sciences, University Center of Tipaza, Team Leader 4-Study of Socio-economic Aspects and Impact on the Environment (Research Laboratory 31, University of Tlemcen), Algeria, Email:

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Our study was carried out for two successive years, between 2018 and 2019, at the Bougara Dam, located in northwestern Algeria. 62 species belonging to 17 families were inventoried during the first year of study, Anatidae and Scolopacidae are the best represented with 14 species, Ardeidae with 07 species. These species have shown different phenological statuses, including sedentary nesters, nesting summer visitors, winterers and transient migrants. Among them, 7 species are on the IUCN red list, others appear in international bird protection agreements (AEWA, CMS) or are protected by Algerian law.

The reproduction ecology of nesting waterbirds was studied in 2019, the monitoring of the reproduction of nesting waterbirds reveals the presence of 13 nesting species belonging to 07 families, 101 nests of all species were found, 316 eggs were analyzed. Laying and hatching dates varied by species, as did lay sizes and reproductive success.


Biodiversity, Waterbirds, Nesting, Phenological status, Protection stauts, Bougara dam, Algeria.


The Mediterranean region is an area extremely rich in biodiversity. Among the most remarkable ecosystems, wetlands are home to a great diversity of species. This ecosystem is also among the most threatened globally, mainly due to the recent and continuous increase in human populations and the joint development of irrigated agriculture, urbanization, industry, transport infrastructure and tourism.

Algeria has a vast and very diverse set of lentic wetlands (lakes, chotts, sebkhas, dayas, ponds and dams) of considerable ecological importance. However, the most precise and recent data are only available for certain water bodies, often the most interesting on an international scale such as Ramsar sites (Samraoui and de belair, 1997; Houhamdi and samraoui, 2001; 2002; 2003; 2008; Samraoui and Houhamdi 2002; Metallaoui and Houhamdi, 2008; 2010; Metallaoui et al., 2009; Metalaoui and Houhamdi, 2010; Baaziz et al., 2011; Guellati et al., 2014; Boudraa et al., 2014; Guergueb et al., 2014; Elafri, 2017; Guergueb et al., 2017; Lazli et al., 2018; Bourafa, 2019; Bediaf et al, 2020; Boubekeur et al, 2020). These hydrosystems, in addition to their sociological, economic, heritage and landscape value, should be considered as reservoirs of animal and plant biodiversity (Saheb et al., 2006; Samraoui et al., 2006; Boulekhssaim et al., 2006; Houhamdi et al., 2008; 2009; Boukrouma et al., 2011; Bensaci et al., 2012; Boudraa et al., 2014; Guellati et al., 2014; Elafri., 2017; Lazli et al., 2018; Bediaf et al., 2020).

The Bougara Dam is a wetland located in northwestern Algeria. It plays a primary role during the migration and reproduction of many avian species. With this objective, we were interested firstly in establishing a more or less exhaustive list of all the aquatic avian species which frequent it, and secondly, to follow the evolution of the numbers of these last during a whole annual cycle. in order to determine their phenological status and protection status, and thirdly, to monitor the nesting success of aquatic avifauna in this Dam.

Site description

The Bougara Dam (35°55'98.34"N, 1°90'75.50"E), is located in the Wilaya of Tissemsilt, on the Oued Nahr Ouassel, just upstream of the village of Bougara. The dam reservoir mainly takes place in the Wilaya of Tissemsilt. The aquatic ecosystem covering an area of 433.6 ha includes the Bougara Dam reservoir and a swamp located in its northern part with a depth varying between 45 cm and 2 m (Fig. 1).


Fig 1. Geographical location of the Bougara Dam (Meziane, 2018).

The lake system covers nearly 80% of the aquatic ecosystem and is essentially confined to the Bougara Dam reservoir. The depth exceeds 2 m over approximately 223 ha (limnic subsystem) and is less than 2 meters (coastal subsystem) over just over 121 ha. The marsh system includes the habitats associated with the temporarily flooded shrub swamp. This system is mainly located on the north shore and covers just under 20% of the wetland. The fluvial system occupies a little more than 2% of the wetland comprising the Oueds Nahr Ouassel and Boukala. Water flows almost continuously in these streams which can rise out of their beds seasonally (MATET, 2010).

The floral composition of the aquatic ecosystem is made up of 19 species belonging to 16 botanical families that have been identified in the wetland of the Bougara Dam. The floristic record shows a notable dominance of annual species which develop in mesophilic (moderately humid) to hygrophilic (very humid) conditions. These grassland formations are dependent on the duration of the flooding and the regularity of the rains. The main species are Phragmites communis, Picris hieracioides, Galactites tomentosa, Cirsium vulgare, Lobularia mantor, Silene fuscata, Chenopodium album, Brassica nigra, Melilotus officinalis, Erodium moschatum, Avena sterilis, Papaver rhoeas, Calicotum spineus, Plantago major, Brexomus rubosa, Plantago major, Brexomus rubosa, Plantago major, Brexomus rubosa pulcher, Ziziphus lotus, Typha angustifolia and Tamarix gallica.

Each year, this aquatic ecosystem welcomes an important bird diversity and easily meets the ZICO criteria (Zone of Importance for the Conservation of Birds) during the winter or breeding season.

The wetland of the Bougara Dam is home to species protected by national legislation: elegant avocet, white stilt, pink flamingo, white stork and black scaup. The sedentary and nesting species are: Mallard, Eurasian coot, Moorhen, White stilt, Gray heron.

Materials and Methods

In order to inventory the aquatic avian population of the Bougara Dam and to determine its phenological status and protection status, a study was carried out over one year (from January 2018 to December 2018). Field trips were organized weekly throughout the study period. Our observations were made with a Konus-Spot ornithological spotting scope (20 × 60) and a pair of Soligor binoculars (10 × 40). The censuses and counts were carried out either individually when the group of waterbirds was close to the observation point and numbered less than 200 individuals, or by visual estimation in the opposite case, in other words, if the number of group was very large or if the birds were at a significant distance. This method of counting on foot is the most widely used in bird counts (Lamotte and Bourlière, 1969; Blondel, 1975; Houhamdi, 2002). Once these birds were counted, the location where they were found was marked on a map in order to determine the methods of distribution and spatial occupation of the body of water by the different species recorded. This method is the most used in winter censuses of aquatic avifauna, but has a margin of error of between 5 and 10%, depending on the experience of the observer, the equipment used and the structure of the environment, such as the presence of a vegetation belt and the height of the helophytes (Lamotte and Bourlière, 1969; Houhamdi, 1998; 2002).

Searches and inspections were carried out during 2019 at least twice a week from mid-February to July in order to identify the various places likely to shelter nests. After the first shipments of nest building materials were observed, we would make three visits per week until their construction was complete. Once found the nests were individually marked and recorded using a global positioning system (GPS), and its internal and external diameters, the height and depth of the water were measured, as was the medium on which the nest has been deposited. The eggs were weighed using a precision balance (0.1 g) (P) and measured (length [L] and width [B]) with a precision 0.1mm electronic caliper. The measurements taken allowed us to calculate biometric clues in order to study more closely the physical characteristics of the eggs (Fig. 2).


Fig 2. General views of the Bougara (Meziane, 2018).

Results and Discussion

Sixty-two species of waterbirds belonging to seventeen families were recorded during the study period, including sedentary nesters, summer nesters, winterers and transient migrants (Table 1). In this stand, Anatidae and Scolopacidae are the best represented with 14 species, Ardeidae with 07 species (Fig. 3 and 4).


Fig 3. Composition by families of the waterbirds in Bougara Dam.


Fig 4. Phenological status of waterbirds at Bougara Dam.

  Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Min Max Pheno status  protection status
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus X X X X X X X   X X X X 5 52 RB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Black-necked grebe Podiceps nigricollis X           X     X   X 1 7 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Little grebeTachybaptus ruficollis X X X   X       X X     2 48 RB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo X X X X X 5 189 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
March harrier Circus aeruginosus X X X X   X X X X X X X 3 27 RB IUCN (LC)/Algerian legislation
White stork Ciconia ciconia X X X X X X X X X 2 76 SB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus X X X X X X X X X     X 1 60 TM IUCN (LC)/Algerian legislation
Common Crane Grus grus X X X 4 38 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia X X X X X X X X X X 1 23 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus       X X X             2 15 SB AEWA/CMS(A.II)/IUCN (LC) Algerian legislation
Squacco heron Ardeola ralloides X X X X X X 1 10 SB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax X X 3 7 SB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis     X       X X X X X X 39 70 RB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Great wihte heron Ardea alba X X     X X X X     X X 1 14 TM AEWA/CMS(A.II)/IUCN (LC) Algerian legislation
Little egret Egretta garzetta X X X X X X X X X X X X 5 62 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Purple Heron Ardea purpurea X X X X 1 41 TM AEWA/CMS(A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea X X X X X X X X X X X X 4 77 RB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Common ShelduckTadorna tadorna X X X X X X X X X X 1 93 RB AEWA/CMS(A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea X X X X X X X 2 247 RB AEWA/CMS(A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos X X X X X X X X X X X X 93 1624 RB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata X X X       X   X X X X 5 460 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope X X X         X         54 362 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Gadwall Mareca strepera X X X   X X   X       X 4 139 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Northern Pintail Anas acuta   X                     1 1 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Marbled duck Marmaronetta angustirostris         X X X         X 1 4 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.I)/IUCN (VU) Algerian legislation
Common Teal Anas crecca X X X           X X X X 85 621 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Garganey Spatula querquedula           X X           8 12 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Pochard Aythya ferina   X X                 X 8 22 RB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (VU)
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca X X X X X X X 2 12 RB AEWA/CMS (A.I)/IUCN (NT)
Algerian legislation
White-headed duck Oxyura leucocephala X X     X               2 16 RB AEWA/CMS (A.I)/IUCN (EN) 
Red-crested pochard Netta rufina X X                     2 5 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus X X X X X X X X X X X X 2 37 RB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Common Coot Fulica atra X X X X X X X X X X X X 13 318 RB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus X X X 2 8 Wi AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Collared Pratincole Glareola pratincola X X X X 3 30 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Black-winged stilt Himantopus himantopus X X X X X X X X X X 1 39 SB AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta X X X X X 13 42 SB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius         X X X X         9 170 SB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula X X X 2 9 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus     X X X X X X X       7 160 RB AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus X X             X X X X 1 89 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (NT)
Sanerling Calidris alba         X       X       1 3   AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Little stint Calidris minuta X     X X X X         X 4 142 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Dunlin Calidris alpina             X       X   2 4 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago X               X X X X 1 9 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa         X     X X       2 8 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (NT)
Ruff Calidris pugnax X           X X X X X   2 110 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Spotted redshank Tringa erythropus X               X X X X 1 12 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Common Redshank Tringa totanus                 X       5 5 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Greenshank Tringa nebularia X               X   X X 1 12 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Green sandpiper Tringa ochropus X                     X 1 10 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC) Algerian legislation
Wood sandpiper Tringa glareola X       X X X   X   X   1 10 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos       X X X X X X   X   1 24 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Marsh Sandpiper Tringa stagnatilis                     X   2 2 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata X                     X 2 3 Wi AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (NT) Algerian legislation
Common Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus X X X   X X X X X X X X 13 145 RB AEWA/IUUCN (LC)
Slender-billed gull Larus genei         X X             26 30 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis X     X X             X 2 6 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Black Tern Chlidonias niger       X X X             1 6 TM AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida X X X X 1 14 TM AEWA/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica X X X X X X 2 9 MP AEWA/CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)
Algerian legislation
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus           X             5 5 Wi CMS (A.II)/IUCN (LC)/Algerian legislation

Table 1. Check-list, phenological and protection status of waterbirds at Bougara Dam. Wi: wintering, RB: Residents breeder, TM: Transient migrant, SB: Summer breeder.

Among the species recorded, there are seven on the IUCN Red List, which represents 11% of the species recorded; such as Marbled Teal, Common Scaup, Nyroca Duck, White-headed Duck, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Curlew. Species protected under the AEWA agreement number 59, or 95% of the total number of waterbird species recorded. The species appearing on Appendices I and II of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) number 44, or 71%. Other species are protected by Algerian legislation, in particular by decree N°83-509 of August 20, 1983, ordinance N°06-05 of July 15, 2006 relating to the protection of certain animal species threatened with extinction, more recently, Executive Decree No. 12-235 of May 24, 2012 establishing the list of protected non-domestic animal species. Of the 62 species inventoried during the study period, 25 are protected under Algerian law, or 40%, and 37 are unprotected, or 60% (Fig. 5).


Fig 5. Percentages of protected and non protected species. (A) according to the IUCN red list categories (VU: Vulnerable, NT: Near Threatened, EN: Endangered), (B) Algerian legislation.

101 nests were found with different types of vegetation, divided into 13 nesting species belonging to 07 families (Ardeidae, Accipitridae, Podicipedidae, Rallidae, Charadriidae, Recurvirostridae and Anatidae) (Table 2). These are the nests of the Little Egret Egretta garzetta, the Crab-eating Heron Ardeola ralloides, the Gray Heron Ardea cinerea, the Night-heron Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, the Harpey Harpey Circus aeruginosis, the Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, the Moorhen Gallinula chloropus, the Eurasian coot Fulica atra, the Lesser Plover Charadrius dubius and the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos.

Families Species Number of Nests Number of abandoned nests Total number of nests Number of nests/family Percentage
Podicipedidae Great crested grebe Podiceps cristatus 5 - 5 5 4.95
Falconidae March harrier Circus aeruginosis 7 1 8 8 7.92
Ardéidae Squacco heron Ardeola ralloides 17 - 17 65 16.83
black-crowned night heron Nycticorax nycticorax 12 - 12 11.88
Little egret Egretta garzetta 18 4 22 21.78
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea 12 2 14 13.86
Anatidae Mallard duck Anas platyrhynchos 2 - 2 2 1.98
Rallidae Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 4 6 10 17 9.90
Common Coot Fulica atra 3 4 7 6.93
Charadriidae Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius 4 - 4 4 3.96
Total 84 17 101 101 100

Table 2. Temporal distribution of nests found.

Seventeen nests found were abandoned during the study period: 6 Moorhen nests, 4 Coot nests, 4 Little Egret nests, 2 Gray Heron nests and 1 Harpey Harrier nests. The cause would probably be our visit or predation, but also nests whose construction has not been completed.

Due to the nature of the habitat (density of vegetation), it was difficult for us to monitor brood survival. Cases of predation on nests have been recorded. The Horseshoe Snake (Coluber hyppocrepis) has been observed on several occasions at the site. In addition, due to the proximity of the dwellings, the study site is subject to multiple disturbances and continued poaching of eggs.

21.78% of Little Egret nests, 16.83% of Crab-eating Heron nests and 11.88% of Night-heron Heron were located on the branches of Tamarix gallica. 13.86% of Gray Heron nests were found in Phragmites communis and 7.92% of Harpey Harrier nests were found in Phragmites communis and Tamarix gallica.

Commun Moorhen and Eurasian coot nests were found in the trunks of Tamarix gallica and Mallard nests were located in an island at the base of Bromus rubeus. Great Crested Grebe nests have been found in deep water and are built at the base of Phragmites communis. The Gray Heron, Harpey Harrier, Great Crested Grebe and Night-Heron have the largest nests (Tables 3-5).

Caractéristiques Great Crested Grebe March harrier Grey Heron
Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N
External diameter of the nest (cm) 39.20 ± 6.83 (30-45) 5 43.86 ± 1.68 (41-46) 7 47.25 ± 1.22 (46-49) 12
Internal diameter of the nest (cm) 16.00 ± 1.00 (15-17) 5 19.14 ± 2.19 (17-22) 7 28.58 ± 0.67 (28-30) 12
Nest height (cm) 13.60 ± 2.19 (10-15) 5 130.00 ± 35.12 (100-200) 7 221.67 ± 22.50 (190-270) 12
Water depth (cm) 103.00 ± 4.47 (100-110) 5 70.71 ± 24.40 (45-120) 7 150.00 ± 00.00 (150-150) 12
Egg weight (g) 37.30 ± 2.34 (34-41) 20 29.45 ± 2.47 (26-35) 29 52.07 ± 2.96 (48-56) 28
Egg length (mm) 57.91 ± 2.79 (49-62) 20 41.13 ± 8.12 (27-50) 29 57.88 ± 1.32 (56-60) 28
Egg width (mm) 40.74 ± 2.31 (36-44) 20 29.73 ± 8.85 (15-41) 29 41.56 ± 1.35 (39-43) 28

Table 3. Nest and egg measurements for Great Crested Grebe, March harrier and Grey Heron.

Caractéristiques Squacco heron black-crowned night heron Little egret
Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N
External diameter of the nest (cm) 24.71 ± 2.76 (20-30) 17 35.75 ± 4.90 (30-45) 12 32.00 ± 2.29 (30-36) 18
Internal diameter of the nest (cm) 14.12 ± 1.27 (12-17) 17 24.25 ± 4.61 (16-30) 12 22.17 ± 2.71 (16-25) 18
Nest height (cm) 159.59 ± 41.64 (90-230) 17 149.58 ± 37.20 (110-200) 12 194.00 ± 44.38 (100-260) 18
Water depth (cm) 59.71 ± 8.74 (40-70) 17 53.08 ± 16.84 (30-73) 12 54.44 ± 12.35 (30-65) 18
Egg weight (g) 16.73 ± 0.84 (15-18) 71 26.57 ± 1.21 (23-29) 42 32.23 ± 1.60 (30-36) 64
Egg length (mm) 37.65 ± 1.22 (35-41) 71 45.64 ± 1.80 (43-50) 42 47.85 ± 2.38 (43-52) 64
Egg width (mm) 27.99 ± 0.84 (26-30) 71 33.02 ± 0.75 (31-34) 42 34.99 ± 2.21 (32-41) 64

Table 4. Nest and egg measurements for Squacco heron, black-crowned night heron and Little egret at the study are.

Caractéristiques Common Coot Comon Moorhen Mallard duck Little ringed plover
Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N Mean ± SEM (Min-Max) N
External diameter of the nest (cm) 29.50 ± 1.80 (28-32) 3 18.50 ± 3.11 (16-23) 4 25.00 ± 1.41 (24-26) 2 8.50 ± 0.58 (8-9) 4
Internal diameter of the nest (cm) 15.33 ± 0.58 (15-16) 3 13.00 ± 1.41 (12-15) 4 16.00 ± 1.41 (15-17) 2 5.50 ± 0.58 (5-6) 4
Nest height (cm) 6.67 ± 2.89 (5-10) 3 21.25 ± 11.09 (10-35) 4 - - 2 - - 4
Water depth (cm) 70.00 ± 26.46 (50-100) 3 27.50 ± 12.58 (10-40) 4 - - 2 - - 4
Egg weight (g) 36.73 ± 2.74 (32-41) 15 21.35 ± 2.32 (17-24) 17 43.43 ± 4.43 (38-51) 14 6.50 ± 0.52 (6-7) 16
Egg length (mm) 53.59 ± 1.59 (51-56) 15 44.06 ± 1.68 (42-47) 17 55.57 ± 2.21 (52-59) 14 29.13 ± 0.64 (28-30) 16
Egg width (mm) 36.37 ± 0.70 (35-37) 15 29.40 ± 0.78 (28-31) 17 39.23 ± 0.62 (38-40) 14 21.28 ± 1.13 (19-23) 16

Table. 5. Nest and egg measurements for Common Coot, Comon Moorhen, Mallard duck and Little ringed plover at the study are.

316 eggs were analyzed, the highest number of eggs found from the Ardeidae family with 205 eggs followed by the Rallidae family with 32 eggs, then the Falconidae family with 29 eggs and the Podicipedidae family with 20 eggs.

The other families, Charadriidae 16 eggs and the family Anatidae 14 eggs (Tables 3-5 and Fig. 6 and 7).


Fig 6. Number of eggs by bird family found at the study site.


Fig 7. (a): Nest with eggs of Great Crested Grebe; (b): Hatching of eggs in a March harrier nest; (c): Hatching of eggs in a Squacco heron nest; (d): Hatching of eggs in a black-crowned night heron nest; (e): Nest with eggs of Little egret; (f): Nest with eggs of Grey Heron; (g) Nest with eggs of Mallard; (h) Nest with eggs of Common Moorhen; (i) Nest with eggs of Common Coot; (j) Nest with eggs of Little ringed plover; (k): Nest with eggs of Black-winged stilt; (l): Chicks of Common Shelduck; (m): Chicks of Little grebe.


The Bougara Dam was used throughout the study year by 62 species of waterbirds belonging to 17 families, of which the Anatidae are the most represented. Many species frequenting this dam are protected, whether IUCN or by Algerian legislation or by other international conventions or treaties, which attributes great heritage value to this artificial ecosystem. Seven species listed on the IUCN Red List were inventoried there, among them three species of Anatidae (the Common Scaup Aythya nyroca, the Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris and the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala).

During our study, the Bougara Dam sheltered several species of waterbirds that could be divided into four categories. We record 16 sedentary species, 16 wintering species, 07 summer species and 23 migratory passing species which only frequent the Dam during small periods (migratory transit periods).

The Bougara Dam, a wintering and nesting site, plays an important role as an ideal refuge for many species of waterbirds, such as Anatidae and Ardeidae. It was during periods of migratory transit that we recorded the greatest diversity and balances of populations. It is also an essential nesting place for many species.

These results have enabled us on the one hand to update our knowledge of the aquatic avifauna of this Dam and on the other hand to create a database for future work, and to identify its importance at the national level.. Finally, we hope to draw attention to the need to protect this particular ecosystem which remains little or not studied, must necessarily be complemented by other more diversified and more in-depth work on this site, the diversity of habitats and on the ecology of some species. These additional studies will improve knowledge of the role of the Bougara Dam in welcoming remarkable bird diversity.


The authors would like to thank all the people who helped them in the practical realization of this work, mainly Mr. Mairif Mohamed for help and his patience throughout this study.


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Author Info

B. Meziane1*, A. Taibi1 and M. Mairif2
1Department of Natural and Life Sciences, University Center of Tipaza, Team Leader 4-Study of Socio-economic Aspects and Impact on the Environment (Research Laboratory 31, University of Tlemcen), Algeria
2Department of Natural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Technology, University of Ahmed Ben Yahia El Wancharissi, Tissemsilt, Algeria

Citation: Meziane, B., Taibi, A., Mairif, M. (2022). Biodiversity and nesting success of waterbirds at the Bougara Dam (Tissemsilt, North-West of Algeria). Ukrainian Journal of Ecology. 12:40-50.

Received: 08-Jan-2022, Manuscript No. UJE-22-51411; Accepted: 29-Jan-2022, Pre QC No. P-51411; Editor assigned: 10-Jan-2022, Pre QC No. P-51411; Reviewed: 17-Jan-2022, QC No. Q-51411; Revised: 22-Jan-2022, Manuscript No. R-51411; Published: 07-Feb-2022, DOI: 10.15421/2022_333

Copyright: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.