The reproductive biology of the Coot (Fulica atra) was studied in a shallow pond, Timerganine, in the semi-arid Hauts-Plateaux. Our results contrast with a previous study carried out in the coastal wetlands of Numidia showing differences in laying dates, egg size and clutch size. Nest site selection was strongly influenced by spatial patch structure and vegetation structure may act as a cue of habitat quality. Coots bred at Timerganine at a high nest density and reproductive performances were influenced by adverse weather and more markedly by both predation and anthropogenic activities. We also found that alternative reproductive strategies were present within the studied coot population which exhibited a high rate of conspecific brood parasitism.
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Vol. 30 • No. 1