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Monitoring of Arabian bustard in Niger

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Presented during the 17h Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting organized by the NGO Sahara Conservation Fund in Senegal, from 4 to 6 May 2017. The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) gathers every year about a hundred people who are interested in the field of Sahelo-Saharan species conservation.

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Monitoring of Arabian bustard in Niger

  1. 1. 17th Annual Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group Meeting 2 days of talks on biodiversity conservation in the Sahara and in the Sahel Monitoring of Arabian bustard in Niger Yves HINGRAT, Research Manager – Reneco for Wildlife Preservation Thomas RABEIL, Regional Developement Officer – Sahara Conservation Fund May 4 – 6, 2017
  2. 2. Monitoring of Arabian bustard in Niger Yves Hingrat and Thomas Rabeil
  3. 3. Why studying the Arabian bustard ? Better knowledge for better conservation
  4. 4. Why studying the Arabian bustard ? • 26 species of bustards • Sahelo-Saharan bustards are among least studied Nubian bustardArabian bustard Denham bustard North African Houbara bustard
  5. 5. Why studying the Arabian bustard ? • 26 species of bustards • Sahelo-Saharan bustards are among least studied Four subspecies recognized § a. lynesi (Bannerman, 1930) – W Morocco (probably extinct). § a. stieberi (Neumann, 1907) – SW Mauritania and Senegambia E to NE Sudan, W Eritrea and extreme NW Ethiopia. § a. butleri (Bannerman, 1930) – South Sudan; two records in NW Kenya. § a. arabs (Linnaeus, 1758) – N & E Eritrea, NE Ethiopia, Djibouti and extreme NW Somalia; SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen. No taxonomy based on genetic yet
  6. 6. Species Status: • Endangered species: Near threatened / CITES II • Globally declining • Range restriction and local extinction Why studying the Arabian bustard ? Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2017). Arabian Bustard (Ardeotis arabs). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/53713 on 2 May 2017). Criteria: A2cd+3cd
  7. 7. Causes of decline: • Over hunted and smuggled • Habitat modification • Human disturbance • Arid climate…under climate change Why studying the Arabian bustard ? Paddle trap Yemen
  8. 8. In Arabian Peninsula • IFHC and Republic of Yemen o MOU for ecological studies and conservation NARC expeditions from 2002 to 2010 Knowledge and conservation so far… Actual range < 1000 km2 Population in Yemen is presumably less than 100 individuals In most suitable habitats the density is about 0.3 ind/km2
  9. 9. In Arabian Peninsula • IFHC and Republic of Yemen o MOU for ecological studies and conservation o Ex-situ conservation in Abu Dhabi with a small conservation breeding Knowledge and conservation so far…
  10. 10. In Arabian Peninsula • IFHC and Republic of Yemen o MOU for ecological studies and conservation o Ex-situ conservation in Abu Dhabi with a small conservation breeding Knowledge and conservation so far… Situation end 2016 Production 2016 Natural breeding of couples in cages Too few copulations and a lot of unfertile eggs
  11. 11. In Arabian Peninsula • IFHC and Republic of Yemen o Public awareness Knowledge and conservation so far…
  12. 12. In Africa • SCF and partners (DFCAP) • Pan Saharan Wildlife Survey (2009-2012) • Research based on SCF data: Niche Modelling and habitat selection (Patin 2015) Knowledge and conservation so far… SCF bustard observations in Termit & Tin-Toumma National Nature Reserves between 2002 and 2012
  13. 13. In Africa • Niche Modelling and habitat selection (Patin 2015) Knowledge and conservation so far… Crucial questions to maximize conservation measures: where do bustards spend their time? what is constraining their movements? Arabian bustard prefers areas with higher mean NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index)
  14. 14. In Niger, Zinder Partnership SCF – IFHC – RENECO – DFCAP
  15. 15. Objectives: • Trapping of adult Arabian bustards • Tag individuals with GPS PTT Satellite transmitters • Monitor their movements ü Seasonal range ü Habitat use and selection • Assess their survival • Gather additional data on their breeding biology • Collect blood samples for genetic analysis Partnership SCF – IFHC – RENECO – DFCAP
  16. 16. A 20 days field mission end of July 2016 Prior to the breeding season Fieldwork
  17. 17. ZINDER
  18. 18. Habitat
  19. 19. Survey From Gadabedji to Kandil Bouzou : 1800 km of track 43 Arabian bustard Density 0.5 ind/ km² 22 Nubian bustard
  20. 20. Trapping Traditional hunters provided by the Sultan of Zinder
  21. 21. 10 bustards trapped • 7 females • 2 males • 1 male died after capture Average weight kg Sex N Average SD female 6 4.2 0.6 male 4 8.4 0.6
  22. 22. 4 females confirmed nesting in August 1 probably reared chicks
  23. 23. What about movements of Arabian bustards in Yemen?
  24. 24. Home Ranges (dBBMM) • Yemen 7 individuals • Niger 7 individuals Country HR 50% HR 80% average 0.59 3.43 SD 0.45 2.13 average 0.40 2.65 SD 0.06 3.06 Yemen Niger 50% HR 80% HR One or two individuals move more Small sample sizes
  25. 25. What about local movements and habitat selection ?
  26. 26. Habitat selection in Niger?
  27. 27. Village proximity Selection of fields? Habitat selection in Niger?
  28. 28. Habitat selection in Yemen ?
  29. 29. Habitat selection in Yemen ? 5 years of monitoring
  30. 30. Habitat selection in Yemen ? Cultivated areas
  31. 31. Habitat selection in Yemen ? Cultivated areas
  32. 32. Seasonal changes - Breeding? - Cultivation practices? Habitat selection in Yemen ?
  33. 33. Seasonal changes - Breeding? - Cultivation practices? Habitat selection in Yemen ?
  34. 34. Model fitting and estimates were obtained with linear mixed-effects (lmer) package in R, and the ‘anova’ function. There was no difference in home ranges between months in Yemen birds (year and individual were random effect). (ANOVA, F (11) = 1.53, p = 0.13) There was no difference in average monthly home range between years (months and individual were fitted as random effect). (ANOVA F (9) = 1.24, p = 0.28). There was no difference in average monthly home range between Yemen and Niger birds (month, year and individual were fitted as random effect)(ANOVA F (2) = 0.21, p = 0.65)

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