Chukar

Alectoris chukar
USA Range Map
Native Range Map

The Chukar partridge is native to southern Eurasia from Israel through India, to northern China. Beginning in the late 1800s, these birds were released in the western USA and by the 1940s they were firmly established.

Modern taxonomists recognize thirteen subspecies of Chukar:

  • A. c. chukar lives in eastern Afghanistan to eastern Nepal.
  • A. c. cypriotes lives in southeastern Bulgaria to southern Syria, Crete, Rhodes, and Cyprus,
  • A. c. dzungarica lives in northwestern Mongolia to Russian Altai and eastern Tibet.
  • A. c. falki lives in north-central Afghanistan to the Pamir Mountains and western China.
  • A. c. koroviakovi lives from eastern Iran to Pakistan
  • A. c. kurdestanica lives in the Caucasus Mountains to Iran.
  • A. c. pallescens lives in northeastern Afghanistan to Ladakh and western Tibet.
  • A. c. pallida lives in northwestern China.
  • A. c. potanini lives in western Mongolia.
  • A. c. pubescens lives in inner Mongolia to northwestern Sichuan and eastern Qinghai.
  • A. c. sinaica lives in the northern Syrian Desert to the Sinai Peninsula.
  • A. c. subpallida lives in Tajikistan.
  • A. c. werae lives in eastern Iraq and southwestern Iran.

Other than a couple of calls from unseen birds in Oregon, and a long-distance view in Nevada, my only meetings with this species have been on Antelope Island north of Salt Lake City (Utah). I’ve heard from friends living in the Salt Lake area that the Chukar on Antelope Island have become scarce.

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