Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Diversity of avian species, their ecosystems and climate conditions in two zones of High Atlas (central Morocco) for ecotouristic purposes

Salma Wakass, Mohamed Mounir, Wafae Squalli, Ismail Mansouri, Youssef Dbiba, Mohammed Hmidani, Soukaina Chellik, Ikram Douini, Mohammed EL Youssi, Mohammed EL Azzouzi, Abdelkrim Ezaidi

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The analysis of avian diversity and their natural ecosystems at a regional scale is the first step to understanding and classifying a specific region's ecological importance and, therefore, adopting sustainable economic activities and implementing suitable conservation measures. This study investigated the avian richness and natural ecosystems in Eastern and central High Atlas between 2015 and 2021. Transects and point-count methods were used to identify and estimate populations of birds and to delimit the nature of ecosystems. A total of 175 bird species among resident-breeders, migrant-breeders, migrant-winterers, and accidental-visitors were documented. These birds belong to 19 orders and are grouped into 51 families. Among recorded birds, 20 species were categorized as species of ectouristic interest due to their roles in birdwatching, hunting, racing sports, and trade activities. These species were observed in natural and human-made ecosystems, with the majority in wetlands. The abundance of a wide range of ecosystems and various bioclimatic stages is suggested to be behind the avian richness of these mountainous areas. Finally, these natural landscapes and their avian richness could be used for ecotouristic purposes. Visitors could profit from the view of landscapes and observation of the most iconic and rare animal species, which is suggested to increase the income for local populations and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources.


avian richness, climate, ecosystems, ectouristic potential, High Atlas


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