Pterocles alchata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Pterocliformes Pteroclidae

Scientific Name: Pterocles alchata (Linnaeus, 1766)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Pin-tailed Sandgrouse
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 an extremely 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). 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:
Afghanistan; Algeria; Azerbaijan; Egypt; France; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Libya; Morocco; Pakistan; Portugal; Saudi Arabia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tajikistan; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan
Cyprus; Gibraltar; Greece; Italy; Lebanon; Malta
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:12400000
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
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 4,200-6,200 pairs, which equates to 8,400-12,400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms <5% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 170,000-250,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend Justification:  The global population is suspected to be stable overall however decreases are suspected in parts of its range and increases have been observed elsewhere (de Juana et al. 2015). The Spanish population is estimated to have increased strongly in the short-term while populations in France and Turkey are reported to be decreasing and fluctuating respectively (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:170000-250000Continuing 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 inhabits steppe habitats requiring dry, open grassland plains without trees or high bushes (de Juana et al. 2015). It avoids dense scrub, tall crops and hilly areas and is typically found below 1,000 m (Madge and McGowan 2002). It often associates with the Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) particularly in winter (Martín et al. 2010b). It lays between April and August (Madge and McGowan 2002). The nest is a slight scrape or natural depression in the ground and is usually unlined (Madge and McGowan 2002). It mainly feeds on seeds, but to a lesser extent also green shoots and leaves (de Juana et al. 2015). The species is sedentary and nomadic in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East to western Afghanistan and mostly migratory in Turkestan and more northerly parts of its range (Rasmussen and Anderton 2005).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):5.6
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Within Europe this species is threatened by changes in agricultural practices (Madge and McGowan 2002). In Spain, 55% of disturbance to the species came from raptors, although mammalian predators and man were also sources of disturbance (Ferns and Hinsley 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex I. Due to its close positive interactions with Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), conservation measures for one species are likely to benefit the other (Martín et al. 2010b).

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's range within Europe only: Low-impact farming methods should be promoted to help preserve and expand suitable habitat. Key sites should be protected to help minimise disturbance. Monitoring programmes should be set up to record species's trends and research into the species's habitat requirements and population dynamics be undertaken.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Pterocles alchata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22692983A86097021. . Downloaded on 21 May 2018.
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