Distribution and Numbers of Three Globally Threatened Waterbird Species Wintering in Morocco: The Common Pochard, Marbled Teal, and White-Headed DuckRead the full article
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Large Mammal Diversity in Nensebo Forest, Southern Ethiopia
There is a lack of information on mammalian faunal resources of remote forests in Ethiopia; as a result, the findings of the research on large wild mammals at Nensebo forest is one of the steps in a continuing effort to document and describe the diversity and distribution of Ethiopian mammals in remote and less accessible forests. The survey was conducted to assess the species composition and relative abundance of large mammals. Two standardized survey techniques, direct (sighting/hearing) and indirect (scat/footprint), were employed using systematically established transect lines and field plots in two dominant habitat types (modified moist Afromontane forest and intact moist Afromontane natural forest) of the study area. A total of 16 species were recorded including two endemic mammals, namely, Tragelaphus buxtoni and Tragelaphus scriptus meneliki. Abundance of species among different habitat types was not significantly different (χ2 = 0.125, df = 1, ), and Colobus guereza was the most abundant species. In contrast, Felis serval, Panthera leo, and Tragelaphus buxtoni were the least abundant species. The highest diversity index was recorded in the natural forest habitat (H′ = 2.188), and the modified forest had the lowest diversity index (H′ = 1.373). There is an urgent need to minimize threats and mitigate impacts.
Migratory Dates, Breeding Phenology, and Reproductive Success of European Turtle Doves between Lowlands and Highest Breeding Habitats in North Africa
The migratory time, breeding chronology, and reproductive success of the European turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) were studied in Midelt as a high-altitude breeding habitat and Beni Mellal as a low-altitude breeding site from 2015 to 2018 in Morocco. Migration dates, breeding phenology, and breeding success were recorded from March to October for each season. As a result, during four years, arrival dates were earlier at the low breeding site, while departure dates were earlier at the high breeding site. Similarly, breeding phenology from nest building to fledging was early at low-altitude site. On the other hand, with four breeding seasons and 893 nests (467 at Midelt and 426 at Beni Mellal), average breeding success was 57% of chicks at Midelt compared to 60.15% at Beni Mellal. Moreover, at Midelt, 18.89% of eggs and 10.54% of chicks were predated, while at Beni Mellal 21.80% of eggs and 4.65% of chicks were deserted due to human disturbance. As a response, at Midelt breeding period was shorter and shifted to hot periods to ensure better reproductive success. Finally, our results highlight that the turtle dove breeding season is later and shorter at breeding highlands, which might allow this bird to avoid the vigorous climate conditions at mountains and their effect on reproductive success.
Abundance, Species Diversity, and Distribution of Diurnal Mammals in Humbo Community-Based Forest Area, Southern Ethiopia
This study was undertaken with the intention of assessing abundance, species diversity, and distribution of medium and large diurnal mammals at the Humbo Community Based Forest Area, Ethiopia. The study area was stratified into three major habitats based on the vegetation cover of the area, such as riverine forest, bushland, and open grassland. The study in each vegetation type was surveyed using the transect method. It was conducted on foot along a randomly selected transect line. A total of eight large and medium mammalian species were recorded. The species recorded were Papio anubis, Sylvicapra grimmia, Tragelaphus scriptus, Chlorocebus pygerythrus, Tragelaphus strepsiceros, Lepus fagani, Phacochorus ethiopicus, and Panthera leo. During the survey, the leading order recorded was Artiodactyla followed by Primates. In terms of relative abundance, Anubis baboon (28.4% and 28.1%) and common duiker (19.4% and 11.4%) were the most abundant species, while warthog (12.1% and 8.9%) and lion (0.7% and 0.4%) were the least abundant during the wet and dry seasons, respectively. The highest number of mammalian species were distributed in bushland habitat during both wet (n = 7) and dry (n = 7) seasons. The highest Shannon-winner diversity index and evenness were obtained in the bushland habitat (1.70 and 2.21) during wet and dry seasons, respectively. Though the forest is the living place for various wild mammalian species, the conservation measures of the local community should also consider those species in line with the efforts that have been done on forest management practices.
Study of Abiotic and Biotic Parameters Affecting the Abundance of Mosquito Larvae (Diptera: Culicidae) in the Region of Fez (Morocco)
Mosquitoes cause significant human health issues. However, very few studies have attempted to examine the question of how abiotic and biotic factors affect the abundance of Culicidae in the larval habitat. The objective of this study was to analyze the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on the increase of the most common mosquito species in the Fez region (Central Morocco). Larvae mosquitoes were sampled by standard dipping technique in four different types of macrohabitats, between November 2015 and November 2016. Each mosquito specimen was morphologically identified by the Moroccan Culicidae key and the Brunhes key. The analysis was done using R analysis software. We collected a total of 772 mosquito larvae belonging to nine different species, five of which are considered of medical interest. Culex pipiens (Linnaeus, 1758), known as the major vector in the transmission of West Nile virus fever (WNV), was the most common species of all mosquito larvae collected. The results of Poisson regression analysis showed that factors such as the presence of green filamentous algae, vegetation cover, and debris were found to be positively significant in the distribution of the genus Culex. However, there was insufficient evidence to determine the parameters that are capable of estimating the abundance of Anopheles. The findings have also estimated that biotic and abiotic factors can lead to significant variation in the abundance of Culex perexiguus (Theobald, 1903), Culex theileri (Theobald, 1903), and Culex pipiens (Linnaeus, 1758). Identifying the priority parameters governing the proliferation of mosquitoes in the region of Fez can be one of the key elements for better vector control.
Stocking Density Induced Stress on Plasma Cortisol and Whole Blood Glucose Concentration in Nile Tilapia Fish (Oreochromis niloticus) of Lake Victoria, Kenya
Effects of high stocking densities (HSDs) were evaluated for Nile tilapia fish (Oreochromis niloticus) under culture to determine its influence on plasma cortisol and whole blood glucose concentration. Plasma cortisol levels (ng/ml) were assayed by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Whole blood glucose levels were determined using a hand-held one touch ultraglucose meter (MD-300) and test strips. Plasma cortisol and whole blood glucose level determinations were replicated three times for O. niloticus reared under both low stocking densities (LSD) and HSD. One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was performed on the data collected, and comparison of significant differences in means was carried out between LSD and HSD at 0.01%. Plasma cortisol levels revealed statistically () significant values of HSD at 6.32 ± 1.06 ng/ml than in LSD at 4.62 ± 1.58 ng/ml for the O. niloticus groups studied. Whole blood glucose analysis revealed a statistical () difference in the means in HSD and LSD O. niloticus groups (F(df,1; 8) = 7.946 > Fcrit = 4.414; ). Mean plasma glucose concentration was statistically () higher for HSD than LSD O. niloticus groups at mean ± SD, 96.84 ± 5.28 and 76.82 ± 5.92, respectively. The findings of this study demonstrate that high stocking densities increase both cortisol and whole blood glucose concentration in tilapia fish, indicating a marked increase in stress levels. Elevated plasma cortisol and whole blood glucose concentration can be used as biomarkers for acute stress in O. niloticus produced under aquaculture systems. The findings of this study can help inform policy on the management of stress caused by overstocking of O. niloticus and other related Cichlids under industrial aquaculture production.
Use of Environmental DNA to Determine Fantail Darter (Etheostoma flabellare) Density in a Laboratory Setting: Effects of Biomass and Filtration Method
Estimating fish abundance/biomass holds great importance for freshwater ecology and fisheries management, but current techniques can be expensive, time-consuming, and potentially harmful to target organisms. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has proven an effective and efficient technique for presence/absence detection of freshwater vertebrates. Additionally, recent studies report correlations between target organism density/biomass and eDNA levels, although widespread application of this technique is limited by the number of studies examining this relationship in various species and settings. Additionally, filter clogging is a commonly encountered issue in eDNA studies in environments with significant sediment and/or phytoplankton algae. Frequently, a sample must be split into multiple aliquots and filtered separately in order to process the entire sample. The present study examines both the relationship between biomass and eDNA and the effects of single versus multiple filter sampling on eDNA concentrations of fantail darters (Etheostoma flabellare) in a laboratory setting. Tank tests were performed in quadruplicate at four environmentally relevant fantail biomass levels. eDNA samples were collected and processed in parallel (one as a whole through a single filter and one in parts through multiple filters). Species-specific primers and a probe were developed for E. flabellare from cytochrome b sequences obtained from locally collected specimens, and real-time quantitative PCR was used to analyze eDNA levels at each biomass. Significant correlations were observed with increasing biomass for both methods, although this relationship was stronger for samples processed by the multiple filter method. These data should be useful in eDNA studies in which turbidity necessitates the use of multiple filters per sample as well as in the use of eDNA to estimate darter populations.