Wednesday, February 8

Spotted sandgrouse

   ›      ›   Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus.

The spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) belongs to the sandgrouse family Pteroclididae.

These sandgrouse species are distributed in northern and eastern Africa, Middle East, Pakistan and northwest India. These sandgrouse species are ground dwelling birds. The spotted sandgrouse is a monotypic species.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Spotted Sandgrouse Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Spotted sandgrouse - Overview

  • Scientific name: Pterocles senegallus
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1771)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Tetrao senegallus Linnaeus, 1771
  • Family: Pteroclididae › Pteroclidiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Spotted sandgrouse, Chinese: 斑沙鸡, French: Ganga tacheté, German: Tropfenflughuhn, Spanish: Ganga moteada, Russian: Пустынный рябок, Japanese: セネガルサケイ, Arabic: القطاة الجونية غبراء الجناح
  • Other names: Saharan Sandgrouse, Senegal Sandgrouse
  • Distribution: northern and eastern Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, northwest India
  • Diet and feeding habits: seeds and other plant material
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) is closely related to chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) is a medium-sized bird, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length and weighing 250 to 350 grams. The wingspan is 50 to 65 cm.
The head, bill and breast are pale bluish gray. The chin, neck and throat are turmeric orange. The upperparts are pinkish gray with dark patches. The central rectrices in both sexes are elongated. The irises are black. Their call is a musical "queeto-queeto" or repeated high-pitched "queet - queet - queet" sound.
Indian birds - Image of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus
Birds of India - Photo of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus by Mike Prince
Birds of India - Picture of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus
Indian birds - Image of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus by Mike Prince
Indian birds - Photo of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus
Birds of India - Picture of Spotted sandgrouse - Pterocles senegallus by Marcel Holyoak
spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) egg
spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) egg

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The spotted sandgrouse species are distributed in northwest India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Somalia, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Palestine, Niger, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Mali, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Chad.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these spotted sandgrouse species in Tunisia are Snam, Sebkhet Nouaïel, Kairouan plains, Jbil, Ghidma, Gafsa, Douz Laâla and Chott Djerid. The IBA of these species in Sudan are Um Badr lake, Khor Arba'at, Mukawwar island and Dunganab bay.

The IBA of these spotted sandgrouse species in Morocco are Piste de Tagdilt, Baie d'Ad Dakhla, Dakhla area, Jbel Krouz, Tamezguidat, Msseyed, Oued Mird, Parc National de Souss-Massa and Aglou. The IBA of these species in Niger is NNR Aïr - Ténéré and in Djibouti is Lac Abhé. The IBA of these species in Iraq are Gasr Muhaiwir and Wadi Hauran.

The IBA of these sandgrouse species in Algeria are Béni Abbès, Belezma, Djebel Aissa, Parc National de l'Ahaggar and Parc National du Tassili N'Ajjer. The IBA of these species in Afghanistan is Registan desert. The IBA in Mauritania are Chegga, El Mréiti and Tamreïkat. The IBA of these species in Egypt are Quseima, Gebel Maghara and Ain Sukhna.

The IBA of these spotted sandgrouse species in Libya are Ghat oases and Zallaf. The IBA in Jordan are Azraq and Dana. The IBA of these species in Iran are Bahu Kalat Protected Area, Hamoun-i Sabari and Hamoun-i Hirmand. The IBA of these sandgrouse species in Eritrea are Massawa coast, Gulf of Zula, Dehalak Archipelago and offshore islands.

Ecosystem and habitat

These spotted sandgrouse species do not normally occur in forests. They inhabit various open arid zones as well as freshwater wetland ecosystems. These sandgrouse species inhabit hot deserts, sparsely vegetated semi-deserts, freshwater springs, oases, permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes and pools. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 100 meters.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these spotted sandgrouse species is mostly seed and plant material. Their primary food is seeds of wild desert plants. They show particular preference to the foliage of Euphorbia guyoniana, a species of spurge. These birds make daily trips to the watering holes in the early morning and evening. Male sandgrouses soak their belly feathers with water to provide drink to the hatchlings.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these spotted sandgrouse species is from March to July. Their nest is a scrape or a natural depression on ground. Two or three eggs are laid in the unlined nest. The buff-colored egg is elongated and oval in shape and has gray and brown blotches and speckles.

Both the spotted sandgrouse parents incubate the eggs and the eggs hatch in about 20 days. The hatchlings follow their mother and feed on seeds. They fledge in about four weeks. The male provides the water for the young ones from its absorbent down on his belly.

Migration and movement patterns

The spotted sandgrouse is non-migrant and mostly sedentary bird.
Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding in their range. Sometimes they become nomadic when dearth of food occurs.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) has not been quantified. The overall population size of these sandgrouse species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be widespread and common. The generation length is 5.6 years. Their distribution size is about 20,100,000 sq.km.

The spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. The hunting of these spotted sandgrouse is the main threat that may endanger the survival of these sandgrouse species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the sandgrouse species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the spotted sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Pterocles senegallus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Pteroclidiformes
Family:Pteroclididae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Pterocles
Species:P. senegallus
Binomial name:Pterocles senegallus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spotted_Sandgrouse_(4803937997).jpg
Image author: Mike Prince from Bangalore, India | License: CC BY 2.0 (as on 06-01-2017)
2.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Spotted_Sandgrouse_(4803937997).jpg
Image author: Mike Prince from Bangalore, India | License: CC BY 2.0 (as on 06-01-2017)
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/maholyoak/5917498611/
Image author: Marcel Holyoak | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (as on 06-01-2017)
4.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ganga_tachet%C3%A9_MHNT.jpg
Image author: Didier Descouens | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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