Training workshop on techniques of identification and counting of waterbirds and on the state of the sites of the white-headed erismature in Morocco.

In line with its strategy for monitoring and protecting birds, GREPOM organized a training workshop on waterbird identification and counting techniques from 7 to 9 April 2017, with a focus on problems of determination Of the White-headed Duck and its hybrids with the Ruddy Duck.

This workshop is part of a project sponsored by GREPOM / BirdLife Morocco and funded by AEWA / CMS, entitled ‘Support for the conservation of the Oxyura leucocephala (ETB) White Duck in Morocco’. This globally threatened duck had disappeared from Morocco, then reappeared with a nesting population whose size gradually increases. However, this population is threatened, as in most of Europe, by Erismature red Oxyura jamaicensis, a duck of American origin which easily crosses with ETB and gives viable and fertile hybrids.

This training focused mainly on the Working Group set up to monitor the species on the ground. Its aim is to ensure the further development of this group in the recognition and biology of the ETB, but it has also provided an opportunity to prepare this group for national monitoring of waterbird populations, including Areas of Importance for Bird Conservation (IBA).

The training was thus focused on:
– the problems of identification of the ETB, in particular of its hybrids with the reddish Erismature, with an overview of its bio-ecology;
– techniques for the identification and counting of waterbirds, which are very useful for monitoring BICOs.

During the three days of training, courses and exercises were given in the classroom at the Scientific Institute of Rabat, followed by field trips, which involved three sites: Embouchure du Bou Regreg (Rabat) and Lac de Sidi Bou Ghaba and Merja Fouwarate (Kénitra). The group was fortunate to receive a demonstration session at the Museum of Natural History of Morocco, based in the same institute.

Visit of the MNHN (Scientific Institute of Rabat)

Sightseeing at Lake Sidi Boughaba

Before concluding the training, the GREPOM Chair thanked the trainers (R. El Hammoumi, A. Qninba, MA El Agbani, A. Rihane & S. Lahrouz) for their strong contribution and congratulated the Executive Board for the success of This workshop.
He also thanked AEWA for its financial contribution and the Director of the Scientific Institute, Prof. Fekhaoui, for all the facilities offered for the organization of the workshop.

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