Human activities affect the potential distribution of the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata

Authors: Joseph LE CUZIAT, Eric VIDAL, Philip ROCHE and Frédéric LACROIX

Published: Volume 52(1), June 2005. Pages 21-30.

Language: English

Keywords: Maghreb, pastoralism impacts, seasonal variations, spatial patterns of occurrence and Ripley´s K function


Aims: Human activities have been reported to impinge on the distribution of the endangered Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata undulata. The present study intends to investigate spatial relationships between Bustard and pastoral distribution in order to identify avoidance patterns and potential exclusions of the species from still-suitable grounds.

Location: The study was conducted on a 600 km² area within the semi-arid steppe-lands of Eastern Morocco.

Methods: Spatial relationships between sheep flocks and Houbara flocks were explored and tested using the spatial point pattern analytical framework.

Results: Significant mutually-exclusive distribution patterns between sheep and goat flocks and bustards were detected throughout the whole year. Bustards` avoidance of sheep flocks appeared to be a spatially variant and temporally scaled process.

Conclusions: Exclusion patterns are identified and discussed. Subsequent conservation implications are briefly presented.

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