Probable population decline of the Little Bustard Tetrax tetrax in north-west Africa

Published in: Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology
Volume 80, issue 3, 2009 , pages: 165–170
DOI: 10.2989/OSTRICH.2009.
Author(s): Carlos Palac’n, Spain, Juan, Carlos Alonso, Spain


To document the population trend of the Little Bustard in north-west Africa, we performed an extensive literature review, and conducted six surveys in seven areas with potentially suitable habitat in north-western Morocco between 1999 and 2005. Both the number of birds and their distribution have apparently decreased, especially during the last third of the twentieth century. The present distribution is limited to the north-western part of Morocco, where at least five areas have been identified where Little Bustards have been sighted during the last years. The current population is extremely endangered, with an estimated total of not more than a few tens of birds. A detailed field survey is urgently needed to determine precisely numbers and distribution of the extant population in Morocco, as a first step to establish a conservation plan that aims to guarantee its survival in the future.

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