Nest site characteristics and breeding biology of Kentish Plover in the saltpans of Sidi Moussa, Morocco
107 – 114
15 October 18
Siham El Malki, Latifa Joulami, Mouna El Mdari, Rhimou El Hamoumi
Rhimou El Hamoumi
Laboratoire d’Ecologie et d’Environnement, Faculté des Sciences de Ben M’sik, Université Hassan II de Casablanca, Morocco
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Nest site selection and breeding biology of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus were studied in the Sidi Moussa saltpans, a part of the Moroccan Ramsar site ‘Sidi Moussa-Walidia’, in two habitat types (natural marshes and saltpans) during two breeding seasons (2011 and 2012). We followed 32 nests during the egg-laying period (late March to late June). Most nests (70%, n = 22) were located less than one meter from vegetation and the mean height of the vegetation around the nest was 19 ± 2 cm. Mean distance to the nearest water was around 2 m (212 ± 24 cm). The mean clutch size was 2.3 ± 0.1 eggs per nest. Mean egg volume was 8.18 ± 0.19 cm3. Nesting success was 38%. Human disturbance was the main cause (85%) of clutch failure. Mean clutch size and mean egg volume in Sidi Moussa were lower than those reported by other studies. However, with a hatch success similar or higher than those in several natural or man-made habitats, Sidi Moussa salt pans are an important nesting habitat for Kentish Plovers.