Alectoris graeca 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae

Scientific Name: Alectoris graeca (Meisner, 1804)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Rock Partridge
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.
Identification information:

Large partridge with grey-brown back, grey-blue breast, pale reddish underparts with black bars across the sides and pure white bib with a well defined black collar extending across the eye to the base of the upper mandible. Both sexes have identical plumage. Similar spp. Chukar Alectoris chukar has a less defined ear-covert stripe. In areas where both Chukar and Rock Partridge are present the best method for field identification is the difference in song to distinguish individuals. 

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Bernard-Laurent, A., Lo Valvo, M., Postoli, A., Dedej, Z., Lentner, R., Zbinden, N., Keller, V., Nipkow, M., Sorace, A. & Vlachos, C.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Derhé, M., Ekstrom, J. & Ashpole, J
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened because despite its relatively large population and range, a recent assessment of the available evidence has found that the species is likely to be undergoing a moderately rapid population reduction owing to habitat degradation and over-hunting in some areas. It almost qualifies for a threatened listing under criteria A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Europe, occurring only in the Alps, the Apennines, Sicily and the Balkans. It is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly, particularly in the Balkans which hold a substantial proportion of the species's population and range, based on a balanced assessment of the available evidence (e.g. Griffin 2011, A. Bernard-Laurent in litt. 2012). Within the Balkans, it breeds in Albania (strong decline is suspected since c.1995), Bosnia and Herzegovina (c.10,000 pairs and thought to have declined strongly in the last few decades [Sucic 2008]), Bulgaria (declining numbers and distribution since the 1960s [Iankov 2007]), Croatia (6,000-10,000 pairs [Tutis et al. in press] and considered to be declining with several local extinctions reported [Budinski et al. 2010]), Greece (apparently stable population in 2005-2011 [Bontzorlos et al. 2011] although the national Red List reports on-going declines and local extirpations in its range [Handrinos and Katsadorakis 2009]), Macedonia FYR (2,000–5,000 pairs [Velevski et al. in press], no current evidence for a decline), Montenegro (declined from 3,000–4,000 pairs [Puzovic et al. 2003] to c.1,300 pairs in 2010-2011 [Saveljic et al. 2011]), Serbia (declined by c. 20-30% in the 1990s to c. 1,000–1,500 pairs [Puzovic et al. 2009]). Elsewhere in the species's range, declines have been reported in Albania (common but declining [Z. Dedej and A. Postoli in litt. 2012]), Austria (R. Lentner in litt. 2012), Italy (a range reduction in the Apennine Mountains in the last 10-15 years and a decline of 11% in the last 20 years in Sicily [Lo Valvo et al. 1993, M. Lo Valvo in litt. 2012]) and Switzerland (long-term fluctuations followed by recent declines [V. Keller and N. Zbinden in litt. 2012]). Population monitoring in France from 1981 to 2011 has shown the population to be fluctuating (A. Bernard-Laurent in litt. 2012). A small population persists in Slovenia where current trend is unknown. The global population is estimated at c.80,000–150,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2004).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; France; Germany; Greece; Italy; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia; Slovenia; Switzerland
Regionally extinct:
Belgium; Lebanon; Spain
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1420000
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:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):2400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, is estimated to number 41,800-73,400 pairs, which equates to 83,500-147,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The species is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly, particularly in the Balkans, based on a balanced assessment of the available evidence (e.g. Griffin 2011, A. Bernard-Laurent in litt. 2012). The species is declining owing to habitat degradation caused by agricultural intensification and urbanization. It is also declining owing to over-hunting in some areas (del Hoyo et al. 1994). This is reflected in its classification as Threatened or Near Threatened in a number of recently published national Red Data Books (covering c. 70% of the species’s global population) in which the species has been classified on the basis of population declines thought to approach or exceed 30% over the last three generations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:83500-147000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
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 utilises a variety of habitats and different altitudes, up to 3,000 m in the Alps and almost down to sea level in Sicily and Greece. Generally they prefer open, mountain habitats with grassy patches, low scrub or scattered conifers (Griffin 2011).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):3.9
Movement patterns:Altitudinal Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Studies in different parts of the species’s range (summarised in Griffin 2011) indicate that it is affected by a wide variety of threats, including habitat loss and degradation (Bernard-Laurent and de Franceschi 1994), abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral activities (Budinski et al. 2010, Rippa et al. 2011), reduced connectivity between metapopulations (Cattadori et al. 2003), disturbance, poaching, unsustainable hunting, extreme climatic events (Bernard-Laurent and Leonard 2000), hybridisation with released captive-bred Chukar A. chukar and Red-legged Partridge A. rufa (Barilani et al. 2007, Randi 2008), and the transfer of pathogens and parasites from these species (Manios et al. 2002, Rosà et al. 2011). Additional threats include the increase of tourism in mountain areas, predominantly in the French and Austrian Alps (A. Bernard-Laurent in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation measures underway
EU Birds Directive Annex I. The species is classified as Threatened or Near Threatened in Red Data Books in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy and Switzerland.

Conservation measures proposed
Conduct surveys to determine population size and trends across the species's range. Improve knowledge on the effects of hunting on the species. Implement measures to reduce abandonment of traditional agro-pastoral activities. Safeguard the species's habitat. Improve legislation and enforcement to reduce unsustainable hunting and poaching. Investigate hybridisation with captive-bred A. chukar and A. rufa and pathogen and parasite transfer from these species.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Alectoris graeca. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22678684A90029840. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
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