Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi
Species Authority: (Taczanowski, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Caucasian Grouse, Caucasian Black Grouse
Tetrao mlokosiewiczi Taczanowski, 1875
Taxonomic Notes: Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Tetrao.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Kyriacou, T., Delipetrou, P., Barker, G., Souty-Grosset, C., Congiu, L., Fourqurean, J.W., Turonova, D. & Zhang, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Jiang, Y., Maunder, M. & Butterworth, C.
This species has been reclassified as Near Threatened owing to declines that are projected to occur owing to road construction for tourism development. Although population trends in parts of the species range are unclear, the overall rate of decline is projected to increase owing to increased hunting, grazing and wood cutting, as well as habitat fragmentation

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi is endemic to the Greater and Lesser Caucasus mountains, where there are thought to be some 68,000-84,300 individuals spread between Russia (15,000-50,000 individuals), Georgia (40,000-50,000 individuals), Turkey (3,000-4,500 individuals), Armenia (400-800 individuals), Azerbaijan (1,000-1,500 breeding individuals) and Iran (less than 500 individuals) (Gokhelashvili et al. 2003; T. Sviridova in litt. 2000;  BirdLife International 2004; S. Klaus in litt. 2005; Khosravifard in litt. 2007; Sultanov 2006; Storch in press). Population estimates have been very variable and data are patchy, partially due to political unrest which has hampered data collection on populations, trends and threats. Spatial modelling has led to considerably lower population estimates: the global population has recently been estimated at 30,203-63,034 individuals based on extent of suitable habitat in range countries (Gavashelishvili and Javakhishvili 2010); conversely, in Turkey the population was thought to perhaps be as low as 1,000 individuals, but based on spatial modelling, may comprise over 4,800 individuals (Gottschalk et al. 2007). Where trend estimates for 1990-2000 are available they tend to show that the population is in decline (Armenia, 10-19%, Azerbaijan, 20-29% and Turkey, 0-19%) and although in Russia the population is apparently stable, rates of decline are widely predicted to increase.

Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; Georgia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Russian Federation; Turkey
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: In Europe (which covers more than 95% of the breeding range), the population is estimated to number 60,000-108,000 individuals.
For further information about this species, see 22679483_lyrurus_mlokosiewiczi.pdf.
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Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in subalpine and alpine meadows, on north-facing slopes with Rhododendron and juniper Juniperus, and on the edge of birch forest in spring and winter, at elevations of 1,300-3,000 m (Gavashelishvili and Javakhishvili 2010). Meadows used for hay production are important for breeding birds (Klaus et al. 2003). Lek sites are found above the timber line not far from winter food resources such as birch Betula litwinowii, oak Quercus macranthera, beech Fagus orientalis, juniper Juniperus and rose Rosa spp (Klaus and Vitovich 2006).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Ongoing road building for the construction of holiday homes in the mountains is currently the major threat and is likely to significantly increase the rate of decline by fragmenting habitat, causing disturbance and allowing increased access for hunters and herdsmen (G. Welch in litt. 2005; Isfendiyaroglu et al. 2007; BaÞkaya 2003; Ýsfendiyaroðlu et al. 2007). Construction of summer homes and wood-cutting for fuel reduces the availability of winter foraging habitat. Habitat loss and deterioration are also likely to be major threats with 40% of subalpine meadows within its range suffering from intensive grazing (WWF/IUCN 1994). The density of birds in grazed areas is low. Grazing livestock disturb and trample nests and birds are killed by herders' dogs (S. Klaus in litt. 2007). Illegal hunting is an increasing threat, particularly in the Lesser Caucasus and in Turkey, both by local residents and occasionally by tourists (E. Ménoni in litt. 2007). Dam building and subsequent re-settlement of displaced people is likely to cause significant declines in Turkey (BaÞkaya 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Large scale research and conservation projects are underway in Georgia and Turkey to improve understanding of the species' biology, develop monitoring and management activities and promote public awareness, and a project to survey the species in Azerbaijan has been carried out (IUCN/SSC/BirdLife/WPA Grouse Specialist Group 2002; R. Gokhelashvili in litt. 2005; E. Sultanov in litt. 2005; Azniashvili 2004; Sultanov 2006). Future work to develop a conservation strategy and create a potential distribution map for all range countries is planned. A captive breeding program is being developed in Armenia.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue research into its population status, ecological requirements and interactions with different farming and forestry methods. Encourage the development and implementation of national species action plans. Develop a framework for grouse-friendly farming practice, including control of dogs and regulation of hunting. Develop public awareness campaigns. Prevent road construction and inappropriate development in key areas for the species. Review the adequacy of the existing protected area network. Monitor populations at a number of sites throughout its range, especially close to sites which are being developed.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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