Status and breeding biology of Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus in the Gharb coastal wetlands of northern Morocco


49 – 54

1 April 11

Imad Cherkaoui, Saâd Hanane

Saâd Hanane
Centre de Recherche Forestière, Avenue Omar Ibn El Khattab, BP 763, Rabat-Agdal 10050, Morocco


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This work describes the breeding biology of Lapwings in two coastal Atlantic wetlands (Merja Zerga and Merja Bargha) in N Morocco. Nests were monitored in two habitats (wet meadows and Spartina grasslands) during five years (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2010). Breeding phenology, colony size, clutch size, egg dimensions, and hatching success were determined and compared between habitats. Egg-laying took place during the second half of March. Clutch-size was similar to that of European populations but egg-volume was different. Average hatching success over the whole study and in the two habitats was 70.1% (n = 78). Nests suffered higher losses owing to human disturbance (65.2%, n = 23) particularly grazing activity. There is a need for urgent management and conservation efforts aimed at reducing the negative impact of humans on this wader in the only African breeding area situated along the Moroccan Atlantic coast