The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) belongs to the family of sandgrouses, Pteroclididae.
These sandgrouse species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Omen, Saudi Arabia and Central African countries. In Africa, the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse is abundant in the Sahel region. There are six recognized subspecies of the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse.
Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse - Overview
- Scientific name: Pterocles exustus
- Species author: Temminck, 1825
- Synonyms/Protonym: Pterocles exustus Temminck, 1825
- Family: Pteroclididae › Pteroclidiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Vernacular names: English: Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse, Chinese: 栗腹沙鸡, French: Ganga à ventre brun, German: Braunbauch-Flughuhn, Spanish: Ganga moruna, Russian: Сенегальский рябок, Japanese: チャバラサケイ, Tamil: Kal Kowdhari
- Other names: Common Indian Sandgrouse, Indian Sandgrouse, Lesser Pin-tailed Sandgrouse
- Distribution: Africa, India, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
- Diet and feeding habits: seeds, leguminous weed seeds
- IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The six recognized subspecies of the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse are: P. e. exustus Temminck, 1825, P. e. floweri Nicoll, 1921, P. e. ellioti Bogdanov, 1881, P. e. olivascens (E. J. O. Hartert, 1909), P. e. erlangeri (Neumann, 1909) and P. e. hindustan R. Meinertzhagen, 1923.
Appearance, physical description and identificationThe chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) is a relatively small sandgrouse, measuring 45 to 50 cm in length.
The sandgrouse irises are black and the bare skin around the eyes is light green. The bill is small, slightly curved and pale gray in color. The legs are short and gray in color. The female has dark mottles and striations over the body as well as the wings. The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse call is a noisy repeated "crok crok" sound.
|Birds of India - Image of Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse - Pterocles exustus|
|Indian birds - Picture of female Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse - Pterocles exustus|
|Birds of India - Photo of Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse - Pterocles exustus|
Origin, geographical range and distributionThese sandgrouse species are distributed in Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Burkina Faso, Togo, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Omen, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Pakistan and India.
In Africa, the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse is abundant in the Sahel region, the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone stretching across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea. Vagrant birds are seen in Hungary, Israel, Jordan and Kuwait. Introduced populations exist in United States.
The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse subspecies P. e. exustus is distributed in Mauritania, Gambia and Sudan. The subspecies P. e. floweri was considered extinct in 1979 and was recently rediscovered in Minya Province in Egypt. The subspecies P. e. ellioti is distributed in Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse subspecies P. e. olivascens is distributed in South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. The subspecies P. e. erlangeri is distributed in Arabian Peninsula. The subspecies P. e. hindustan is distributed in Iran, Pakistan and most of India.
Ecosystem and habitatThese chestnut-bellied sandgrouse species do not normally occur in forests. They inhabit various natural, open, dry, sparsely bushy ecosystems. The sandgrouse species inhabit tropical and subtropical dry grasslands, tropical and subtropical shrublands, semi-desert, hot desert, dry steppe and dry fallow agricultural fields. They occur in altitudes from 0 to 1500 meters.
Diet and feeding behaviorThe diet of these chestnut-bellied sandgrouse species is mostly wild seed. Seeds of wild legumes are the primary food. They may also feed on other seeds, grains and cereals. They fly up to 80 kilometers in a day in search of watering holes.
Reproduction and breeding habitsThe breeding season of these chestnut-bellied sandgrouse species varies with their location in the range. The breeding season is from March to May in northern India. In southern India, the breeding season is from January to April. The nest is a ground scrape and the clutch contains two or three eggs. Both the parents incubate the eggs. The hatchlings soon after hatching follow the parents in their forage trip.
Migration and movement patternsThese sandgrouse species are non-migratory, sedentary and resident birds. Post breeding dispersal of the juveniles takes place.
Conservation and survivalThe global population size of the chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) has not been quantified. The overall population size of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range chestnut-bellied sandgrouse is reported to be common and widespread. In Sahel region of Africa, they are abundant. The generation length is 5.6 years.
The chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus) 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. There are no substantial threats that may endanger the survival of these species.
IUCN and CITES statusThe 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 chestnut-bellied sandgrouse (Pterocles exustus).
1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chestnut-bellied_sandgrouse.jpg
Image author: ChriKo | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chestnut-bellied_sandgrouse_Female.jpg
Image author: Shashank.shekhar29 | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pterocles_exustus_Male_%26_Female.jpg
Image author: Essarpee1 | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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