Tetraogallus caspius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Tetraogallus caspius (Gmelin, 1784)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Caspian Snowcock
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
This species has a very large range, and hence does not 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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:
Armenia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Turkey; Turkmenistan
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1830000
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 European population is estimated at 4,500-10,800 pairs, which equates to 9,100-21,700 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms approximately 55% of the global range so a very preliminary estimate of the global population is 16,500-39,500 mature individuals although further validation of this estimate is needed. The population is therefore placed in the band 16,000-39,999 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is declining owing to habitat degradation caused by over-grazing and, in Azerbaijan, conflict and also over-hunting throughout much of its range (del Hoyo et al. 1994). The population trend in Europe is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:16000-39999Continuing 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 following information refers to the habitats of the European population only. The species uses meadows in the sub-alpine and alpine zones between altitudes of 2,400 and 4,000 m (Tucker and Heath 1994) and occasionally down to 1,800 m. Birds are found on steep slopes lacking snow cover and gorges and crags with patches of snow and some herb and grass cover (McGowan 1994). Birds prefer south-facing slopes in summer and north-facing ones in winter. During winter they avoid areas with a covering of snow and use open ground with steppe-like vegetation instead (Tucker and Heath 1994). Courtship usually begins in April, with laying in late April and May. Typically five to nine eggs are laid (McGowan 1994). Nests are found on steep slopes in the open, beneath overhanging rocks, amongst stones or in tufts of grass (Tucker and Heath 1994). Birds feed exclusively on plant material, particularly legumes, feeding on bulbs, flowers, fruit and seeds (Baziev 1978). The species is mainly sedentary and in some areas does not even descend to lower altitudes during heavy snowfall. However some altitudinal movement has been observed in Turkey (McGowan 1994).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Europe its alpine habitat is threatened by overgrazing, which is easily reached by shepherds with guns, and with their sheep and dogs. In 1993 most of the species's range in Azerbaijan was suffering with intensive military activity, and it was feared that poaching and the spread of long range firearms could have drastic effects (McGowan et al. 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Least Concern (Fuller et al. 2000). Mace-Lande: Vulnerable. CITES I although it is proposed for downgrading to Appendix II (Anon 2012). Included on USSR Red List in 1978. Considered Vulnerable in Turkey (Kirwan et al. 2010), as well as Georgia, where the population, at the edge of the species's range is believed to be very small. The species is found in five Important Bird Areas in Armenia, five in Azerbaijan, four in Georgia and six in Turkey (Anon 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Habitat protection is needed and an extensive survey should aim to locate healthy populations in Turkey. Species does not adapt well to captivity (McGowan et al. 1995).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Tetraogallus caspius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22678664A85854649. . Downloaded on 22 May 2018.
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