A Namaqua Dove (Oena capensis) was observed today at Safia reserve, Oued Dahab region by Abdeljebbar Qninba and members of the Association Nature Initiative (photo 4). This is the 5th Moroccan record for this species.
Update: On 22 May, A. Qninba sent us an SMS with this information “a second Namaqua Dove with a very small tail at Safia. Possibility of presence of a small group”. He later sent us photos 1, 2 and 3.
A. Qninba (who was the first to report the Sudan Golden Sparrow at Bir Anzarane) is in the region to participate in the release of mhorr gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr).
For the context, the release operation of mhorr gazelle into the wild from the Safia acclimatisation station which will be conducted during the next two days aims to assess the adaptability of the reintroduced gazelles to their historical habitat.
The operation is part of a partnership between the ‘High Commission for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification’ (HCEFLCD) and its local partner, the ‘Association Nature Initiative’.The gazelles will be monitored by a GPS system that will track their distribution in space and monitor their behaviour in their new/original environment, especially in terms of reproduction and feeding.
In 2016, the Namaqua Dove bred for the first time in Morocco, exactly at Mijk in Oued Dahab region. See:
Chevalier, F., Belhaj, M. & Bergier, P. 2016. Premier cas de reproduction de la Tourtelette masquée Oena capensis au Maroc. Go-South Bulletin 13: 82-89.