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|Title||The avifauna of Wadi Gaza nature reserve, Gaza Strip - Palestine|
Birds are considered as good indicators of the degree of human disturbance to the various ecosystems. In this work, we present the birds of Wadi Gaza Nature Reserve and its environs, drawing upon a two-year field survey from October 2002 to September 2004. Two different sites were addressed for carrying out this study. Site I is almost hydric and represents a unique wetland ecosystem. Site II is almost dry except for some stormwater ponds occurring during the rainy season. A total of 118 avifaunistic species belonging to 38 families and 11 orders were determined and listed. Aquatic birds comprised 49 (41.5%) of the species counted, while terrestrial birds comprised 69 (58.5%) species. The Passeriformes was the biggest order and comprised 41 (34.7%) of the recorded species. Non-passerines comprised 77 species (65.3%), of which Charadriiformes formed the biggest order and comprised 27 species. Eighty five (72.0%) of the bird species were migratory while the others were resident. The House Sparrow was the most common bird species in Wadi Gaza Nature Reserve. The common species were the Cattle Egret, Chukar, Moorhen, Coot, Spur-winged Plover, Rock Dove, Laughing Dove, Barn Swallow, Yellow-vented Bulbul, White Wagtail, Palestine Sunbird and Hooded Crow. The major potential threats to avifauna included over-population, urbanization, residential and agricultural encroachment on the expense of natural areas, habitat destruction and fragmentation, hunting and poaching, intensive pesticide use and human disturbance at nest sites. The Israeli Occupation is still adversely affecting bird ecology in the area by uprooting and demolishing vast vegetated areas. The authors recommend improving cooperation of different parties to rehabilitate Wadi Gaza Nature Reserve and its environs and to enhance public awareness and to implement environmental laws and legislations to protect wildlife and to ensure sustainability of the system for both humans and biota.
|Published in||IUG Journal for Natural and Engineering Studies|
|Series||Volume: 15, Number: 1|
|Publisher||الجامعة الإسلامية - غزة|
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