Green, A.J. and Hamzaoui, M.E. and El Agbani, M.A. and Franchimont, J. (2002) The conservation status of Moroccan wetlands with particular reference to waterbirds and to changes since 1978. Biological Conservation, 104 (1). pp. 71-82.

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Morgan made detailed descriptions of 24 major Moroccan wetlands visited in 1978, with a total area of 4529 ha (Morgan, N.C., 1982a. An ecological survey of standing waters in North West Africa: III. Site descriptions for Morocco. Biological Conservation, 24, 161-182.). We revisited these sites, and found that 25 of the wetland area had been destroyed by 1999. This loss was concentrated in wetland types of low salinity (< 5 g/l NaCl), with a 98 loss of seasonal mesohaline sites, 41 loss of mountain lakes and 33 loss of seasonal Phragmites/Scirpus lacustris marshes. Surviving mountain lakes showed increased conductivities, suggesting reduced inflow. No loss of area of other wetland types was recorded, although degradation has occurred at all sites due to hydrological impacts, overgrazing or excessive reed-cutting, sedimentation, urban development, pollution, introduction of exotic fish and other causes. Similar threats face another 23 major Moroccan wetlands reviewed in this study. Of the 47 wetlands studied in total, only 10 have some kind of protection status. We assess the importance of these wetlands for waterbirds and aquatic submerged or floating plants. The number of plant species recorded is strongly correlated with the number of threatened waterbird species (but not the total number of waterbird species). Natural, freshwater wetlands most affected by wetland loss hold more species of aquatic plants and invertebrates, and are of great value for threatened waterbirds such as marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustrirostris), ferruginous duck (Aythya nyroca), ruddy shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) and especially the crested coot (Fulica cristata). Most surviving natural, fresh wetlands are unprotected, and measures to conserve them are urgently required. Human-made wetlands such as reservoirs have some value for threatened waterbirds (especially ruddy shelduck and marbled teal), but hold much lower densities of waterbirds than natural wetlands, and support fewer plant species. Thus, they do not compensate for the continuing loss of natural wetlands. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquatic plant; conservation status; species richness; waterfowl; wetland, Morocco, Anas sp.; Aythya; Aythya nyroca; Fulica; Fulica cristata; Invertebrata; Marmaronetta; Phragmites; Scirpus; Tadorna; Tadorna ferruginea
Subjects: Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Divisions: SCIENTIFIC PRODUCTION > Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrateur Eprints Administrateur Eprints
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 15:44

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