Tetraogallus caucasicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Tetraogallus caucasicus (Pallas, 1811)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Caucasian Snowcock
Taxonomic Source(s): AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Verhelst, B. & Ugrekhelidze, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Westrip, J.
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Azerbaijan; Georgia; Russian Federation (European Russia)
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:62600
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):1800
Upper elevation limit (metres):4000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, was estimated to number 3,300-13,500 pairs, which equates to 6,700-27,100 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Further information from Georgia suggests the number of pairs there may be 500-3,000 (B. Verhelst in litt. 2017), which would put the breeding population in the range of 3,300-16,000 pairs. This equates to 6,600-32,000 mature individuals. The population is therefore placed in the band 6,000-32,000 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-32000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is endemic to the Caucasus where it is found in the Alpine and sub-Alpine zones of the High Caucasus and neighbouring mountain ranges. Birds use mountain slopes with rocky outcrops, alpine meadows, clumps of bushes and patches of melting snow (Tucker and Heath 1994) but avoid forest, scrub and large areas of snow cover (McGowan 1994). It is generally found at altitudes of 2,300 to 4,000 m (Tucker and Heath 1994) and occasionally from 1,800 m. The start of courtship can vary between years but usually takes place from early April. Laying occurs between late April and July with five to eight eggs laid. It nests in the open or under rock overhangs. Birds feed mainly on plant material including leaves, fruits, stems and tubers. Their diet changes over the year depending on availability of the different plant parts; feeding on dry material in autumn and winter and shoots and other materials when available (McGowan 1994). Birds perform seasonal altitudinal migrations moving to lower altitudes to overwinter (Tucker and Heath 1994) and higher altitudes post-breeding (McGowan 1994).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Altitudinal Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by habitat degradation caused by overgrazing by domestic stock (McGowan 1994), and it is also hunted within its range (B. Verhelt in litt. 2017).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Mace Lande: Safe. The species was included on USSR Red List in 1978. In Turkey, it occurs only in Artvin and hunting has been banned. It is also found in at least three protected areas, the Tebezdinsky Reserve in Russia, the Zakataly Reserve in Azerbaijan and the Lagodechy Reserve in Georgia. The species also occurs in Caucasus Endemic Bird Area (McGowan 1994).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Important areas should be identified and protected from over grazing. Population monitoring and species research should be undertaken to inform future conservation research.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: Edited Threats and Population Justification Information text. Adjusted the number of mature individuals. Added threats to the threat list, as well as new Contributors and a new Facilitator/Compiler.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Tetraogallus caucasicus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22678661A111767442. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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