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Time allocation and vigilance behaviour of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, Tunisia

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We studied time allocation and vigilance behaviour of Greater Flamingos () wintering in the Gulf of Gabès. In particular, we tested the relationships between time devoted to vigilance and that devoted to foraging and sleeping, and investigated variation in individual vigilance level with group size and group activity. Our results suggest that vigilance behaviour is costly for flamingos wintering in the Gulf of Gabès, in that significant trade-offs were found between vigilance and foraging, and between vigilance and sleeping. We also found that vigilance level of individual flamingos was dependent on group activity and group size. Overall, flamingos were most vigilant during mixed activities and vigilance level increased with group size. The latter result could be due to the increase in competition and social friction with group size.

French
Nous avons étudié l'allocation du temps et la vigilance chez le flamants rose (Phoenicopterus roseus) hivernant dans le Golfe de Gabès. En particulier, nous avons examiné la relation entre la vigilance et les autres principales activités des individus, à savoir l'alimentation et le repos, et nous avons testé les effets de la taille du groupe et de son activité sur le degré de vigilance des individus. Globalement, nos résultats suggèrent que la vigilance est coûteuse pour les flamants roses, dans la mesure où elle réduit le temps alloué à l'alimentation et celui alloué au repos. D'autre part, la vigilance individuelle semble dépendre de la taille du groupe et de son activité générale. C'est en effet au cours des activités mixtes et au sein des groupes nombreux que les individus semblent les plus vigilants. Ce dernier résultat serait du à l'augmentation de l'intensité de la compétition et des frictions entre les individus avec la taille du groupe.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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