Phenology of waders in the Sidi Moussa–Walidia coastal wetlands, Morocco
73 – 84
1 August 10
Rhimou el Hamoumi, Mohamed Dakki
Rhimou el Hamoumi
Laboratoire d’Ecologie et d’Environnement, Faculté des Sciences Ben M’sik, B.P. 7955, Sidi Othman, Casablanca, Morocco.
Seasonal changes in the abundance and composition of the wader community at the Sidi Moussa–Walidia wetlands, Morocco, were surveyed during two years (Mar 1994 to Feb 1996). Twenty-six wader species were observed during this period, amongst a total of 41 species recorded in the study area historically. Only three species breed in the area; all others are winter visitors or passage migrants from breeding areas further north. The most abundant species recorded were Dunlin Calidris alpina, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Pied Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula and Little Stint Calidris minuta. On the basis of the Ramsar Convention criterion that if a site supports at least 1% of a biogeographic population it is of international importance for that population, the Sidi Moussa–Walidia complex is shown to be of international importance for Black-winged Stilt, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus and Ringed Plover. Using both data on the local wader community collected during this study and from the literature, the 26 wader species observed during the study were ascribed to seven phenological categories: (1) breeding species present during migration and in winter, (2) breeding species that are absent in winter, (3) species present during migration, (4) non-breeding species present during migration winter and summer, (5) species present during migration and winter, (6) species present only in winter, and (7) occasional visitors.