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Egyptian Journal of Biology

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Monitoring birds, reptiles and butterflies in the St Katherine Protectorate, Egypt

K Meakin, SR de Kort, H Gilbert, F Gilbert, S Zalat, L Mohi, S Ibrahim, J Griffin

Abstract


Fifty-two bird species were recorded during transect and point count surveys of wadis in the St Katherine Protectorate in the mountainous southern region of the Sinai, Egypt. Two species are new to Egypt: Rock Nuthatch (Sitta neumeyer) and Rock Sparrow (Petronia petronia). There were several other notable species: migrants such as Arabian Warbler (Sylvia leucomelaena) and Upcher’s warbler (Hippolais languida); and residents such as Verreaux’s Eagle (Aquila verreauxi), Hume’s Tawny Owl (Strix butleri) and Striated Scops Owl (Otus brucei).
Estimates of bird density and descriptions of each wadi are given. Species diversity of wadis within the Ring dyke geological feature bounding the central mountain plateau was not significantly different from wadis outside. Species composition and numbers of individuals varied according to the distribution of water sources, natural trees and Bedouin gardens especially in fruit. These features appear to be particularly important as staging posts for migrants. Numbers of
some birds increased around tourist areas. Observations of seven species of reptile and ten species of butterfly including endemics are
also presented. Recorded numbers of all groups depended heavily on the time of day.



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