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Ornithofauna Prevailing at Al-Mawasi Ecosystem of the Gaza Strip, Palestine

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DOI: 10.4236/oje.2019.99025    107 Downloads   209 Views

ABSTRACT

In spite of its small area, Palestine (27,000 km2) is home to more than 500 species of ornithofauna, inhabiting all types of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The Gaza Strip (365 km2), which represents 1.5% of Palestine, has a considerable number of ornithofaunistic species as well. Al-Mawasi ecosystem (14 m2), which lies in the far south-west of the Gaza Strip, has never been orinthologically studied. Thus, the current study comes to survey the ornithofauna prevailing at Al-Mawasi ecosystem as a natural to semi-natural environment. Ornithofauna were monitored using direct observations and binoculars for the lasted ten years (2009-2018). A total number of 135 ornithofaunistic species, belonging to 45 families and 17 orders were encountered at Al-Mawasi ecosystem. Passeriformes was the largest order and comprised 57 (42.2%) of the recorded species, while the non-passerines constituted the remaining 78 species (57.8%). Muscicapidae was the largest among the recorded families; represented by 13 species (9.6%), and followed by 10 species of Scolopacidae, (7.4%), 8 species of Ardeidae and Fringillidae (5.9%) for each and 7 species of Accipitridae (5.0%). Aquatic ornithofaunistic species represented 44 (32.6%) of the total species recorded, while the terrestrial ones represented 91 (67.4%). The Palestine Sunbird (Nectarinia osea) is a common endemic Palestinian species in Al-Mawasi ecosystem. The Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) has become an actual source of financial income for its catchers, and as a result, it is extensively hunted in vast areas of the Gaza Strip. Finally, the study recommends carrying out more research on ornithofauna inhabiting the natural, agricultural and urban environments of the Gaza Strip. The establishment of a specialized center dealing with bird surveys and conservation is very essential in the Gaza Strip, which is an actual hot spot experiencing an escalating environmental degradation.

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Abd Rabou, A. (2019) Ornithofauna Prevailing at Al-Mawasi Ecosystem of the Gaza Strip, Palestine. Open Journal of Ecology, 9, 360-400. doi: 10.4236/oje.2019.99025.

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