The vulnerable Osprey breeding population of the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco: present status and threats
AbstractIn the Mediterranean, most areas belonging to the initial distribution range of the Osprey Pandion haliaetus have been lost and local populations have disappeared in recent decades because of persecution. Even though direct management actions have allowed local partial recovery, the Mediterranean population currently only holds a few tens of breeding pairs and is still exposed to local extinction risks. One of the last Mediterranean Osprey breeding areas lies along the North African coast between Morocco and Algeria. In this paper, we report new information on the Osprey population within the Al Hoceima National Park, Morocco. The status of the population for 2012 and 2013 is reported and compared with data collected during the period 1983–1990. A reduction in number of nests and breeding pairs was observed and a 35.7% decrease in the population size recorded. In addition, we discuss the main identified threats to Osprey habitats (e.g. dynamite and poison fishing) that affect the Osprey breeding population in this area. In this context, we stress the necessity for urgent measures to be adopted at the local scale for the protection of this vulnerable population in the light of a sound conservation strategy also at the scale of the Mediterranean.
Keywords: conservation, Morocco, Pandion haliaetus, population, threats
OSTRICH 2013, 84(3): 199–204