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2023.08.01.65
Files > Volume 8 > Vol 8 No 1 2023

Checklist and distribution of Galliform Birds (Order: Galliformes) in Iraq
Afkar Muslim Hadi*¹
¹Iraq Natural History Research Center and Museum, University of Baghdad; email:[email protected]
*Correspondence: e-mail:[email protected] ;  [email protected]
Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.21931/RB/2023.08.01.65

 
ABSTRACT
 
 
A total of four genera and four species belong to one family, Phasianidae, Order Galliformes; about 72 specimens deposited in the bird's collection in the Iraq "Natural History Research Center and Museum INHM" were reviewed. In the current study, morphometrics of four species of taxidermy Galliform birds: Chukor Alectoris graeca (Meisner, 1804), Seesee  Ammoperdix griseogularis  (Brandt, 1843), Quail  Coturnix coturnix (Linnaeus, 1758), and Black Partridge Francolinus francolinus (Linnaeus, 1766)  were documented. In addition, the distribution ranges throughout Iraq and the Global Conservation Status of each mentioned species were reviewed and comprehensively discussed. The current study concluded that the collection of four species belongs to the Phasinidae Family of Galliformes Order, which deserved in INHM still abundance in the Iraqi environment; that Chukers  Alectoris  sp. more abundance in mountains and hills areas west and north of Iraq; While, Black partridge Francolinnus francolinus is more abundance in wetlands and Marshes south of Iraq. Global Conservation status listed them as Least Concern (LC).
 
Keywords: Black partridge, Chukar, Galliform birds, Phasianidae, Quail.

 
INTRODUCTION

 
Galliform birds are essential in the ecosystem and are reared by humans, hunted as game birds or for their meat and eggs. They are also called Gallinaceous birds 1.
 
The Order Galliformes is divided into five families: Phasianidae, Odontophoridae, Numididae, Cracidae and Meqapodiidae, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica and adapting to any environment except innermost deserts and perpetual ice2. The Family Phasianidae includes Chicken, partridges, pheasant, peafowl, quail and turkeys 3. It is an old-world family with a wide distribution, including Europe, Asia (except the far north), Africa except the desserts, and eastern Australia 2.
 
Previously, Snowcock Tetraogallus caspius (S.G.Gmelin, 1784) was abundant in the mountains of Kurdistan, north of Iraq, then decreased slightly in high mountains 4, but there is no specimen in the INHM.
 
This study aimed to provide a database of the Iraqi Galliform bird Collection in the Iraqi Natural History Research Center and Museum (INHM) and a comprehensive overview of the environmental reality of the Galliform bird's status and distribution in Iraq.

 
MATERIALS AND METHODS

 
Specimen collection: A total of 72 specimens of Galliform birds of four genera: Alectoris, Ammoperdix, Coturnix, and Francolinus, that belong to the Phasianidae  Family which collected from different ecozones of Iraq as Salah-Aldeen, Shaqlawa Road  (north of Iraq); Abo-Ghraib (west of Iraq); Baghdad, Rashidya Road, Al-Attaryia, Al- Fahama, Yousifiya Road and Hilla (middle of Iraq); Amara, Nasiriya Road, and Al- Chibayish Marsh (south of Iraq) deposited in the bird collection in (INHM)  are reviewed. All dried birds were tagged with museum collection labels with the accession number, common name, scientific name, and the collecting location; and preserved (taxidermy) as study skin specimens. The morphological measurements in millimeters (mm) were measured for one specimen to represent each studied species.

 
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

 
A total of four genera and four species that belong to the Phasianidae Family were recorded in the collection of Order Galliformes in the Iraq Natural History Research Center and Museum INHM, table 1. Figures 1- 4
 
Measurements ± of collection of four species Alectoris graeca, Ammoperdix griseogularis, Coturnix coturnix, and Francolinus francolinus, of Galliform birds by millimeters in Table 2.

Table 1. Collection of Galliformes Order in the Iraq Natural History Research Center and Museum INHM.
         


 
Table 2. Measurements ± of collection of four species belong to four genera of  Phasianidae by millimeters.
         

 
Chukor Alectoris graeca (Meisner, 1804)
 
Synonyms according to Global Biodiversity Information Facility GBIF 5 .
 
= Alectoris graeca subsp. saxatilis (Meyer, 1805)
 
=Perdix graeca   (Meisner, 1804)

 
Species status in Iraq: Five species of the current study were collected from near Salah- Aldeen (north of Iraq).
 
Alectoris graeca is a resident bird in Iraq4, 6. Some researchers 7, 8 recorded Alectoris chukar asoica, and they named Asoi chukar in Hawramman Mountain. Also, it has been recorded in Gaara Depression, Iraqi Western Desert by 9. And in Saffin Mountain by 10. The scientific research team 11 revealed that the Chukars were found in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, where caught and sold for the pet trade throughout Iraq.
 
Global Conservation status listed the Chukar as Least Concern (LC) by IUCN  12,13.


 
                                               
 
Figure 1. Ventral view of Chukar  Alectoris graeca.

 
Seesee  Ammoperdix griseogularis  (Brandt, 1843).
 
Species status in Iraq: 45 Ammoperdix griseogularis were collected from Azizia Road, Al –Khalis, and Al Yasifiya Road (middle of Iraq). It is a resident bird in Iraq, bred formerly 4,6. It is recorded in Hawraman Mountain by 7, 8 in Safin Mountain by 10 , in Gaara Depression, the Iraqi Western Desert by 9.
 
Global Conservation status listed Ammoperdix griseogularis as Least Concern (LC), and Europe's Conservation status is listed as Vulnerable (VU) by IUCN 12,13.

 
 
 
Figure 2. Dorsal view of Seesee  Ammoperdix griseogularis.

 
Quail  Coturnix coturnix (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
Synonyms according to Global Biodiversity Information Facility GBIF 5 .
 
    =Coturnix communis (Bonnaterre)
 
    =Coturnix vulgaris (Fleming)
 
   =Scolopax ghardalamensi (Fischer & Stephan, 1974)
 
   =Tetrao coturnix (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
  = Tetrao spec (Linnaeus, 1758)
 
Species status in Iraq: One Coturnix coturnix was collected from Al Faloja Road (west of Iraq). It is a passage migrant, breeding summer visitor, 4, 6, 14  
 
It is recorded in Gaara Depression, Iraqi Western Desert by 9; And in Al-Dalmaj Wetlands, south of Iraq by 15. Recently, 16 recorded it with the biodiversity in Al-Salman Depression, Al-Muthana Province, Southern Desert, Iraq.
 
Global Conservation status listed Ammoperdix griseogularis as Least Concern (LC) and Europe  Conservation status listed it as Vulnerable (VU) by IUCN 12,13.

 
 
 
Figure 3. Dorsal view of Quail  Coturnix coturnix.

 
Black Partridge Francolinus francolinus (Linnaeus, 1766)
 
Synonyms according to Global Biodiversity Information Facility GBIF 5 .
 
=Tetrao francolins (Linnaeus, 1766)
 
Species status in Iraq: 21 specimens of Francolinus francolinus were collected from Shaqlawa Road  (north of Iraq); Abo-Ghraib (west of Iraq); Baghdad, Rashidya Road, Al-Attaryia, Al- Fahama, Yousifiya Road and Hilla (middle of Iraq); Amara, Nasiriya Road, and Al- Chibayish Marsh (south of Iraq).
 
It is a resident bird in Iraq, bred formerly 4, 6. It has been recorded in Bahr Al-Najaf Depression, Al-Najaf Al-Ashraf governorate (south of Iraq) by 17; and in Al-Dalmaj Marsh, Al-Diwaniya Province, south of Iraq by both 18, 15. More than,  Black Partridge was recorded in Huwaiza marsh, south of Iraq by 19.
 
The conservation status of Francolinus francolinus was listed as Least Concern (LC) globally and in Europe by IUCN 12,13.
 
 
 
 

Figure 4. Ventral view of Black partridge  Francolinnus francolinus.

 
CONCLUSION

 
The current study concluded that the collection of four species belonging to the Phasinidae Family of Galliformes Order, which deserved in INHM still abundance in the Iraqi environment, that Chukers  Alectoris sp. more abundance in mountains and hills areas west and north of Iraq; While, whereas Black partridge  Francolinnus francolins is more abundance in wetlands and Marshes south of Iraq. Global Conservation status listed them as Least Concern (LC).

 
Author Contributions
 
This study is an individual effort of the author. He relied on the collection of bird specimens from the Natural History Museum and its documented records to publish and provide essential data about the Galliformes Order in Iraq.
 
 
Funding
 
This research received no external funding.
 
Institutional Review Board Statement
 
The title of the current article was registered in the research plan of "The Iraq Natural History Research Center and Museum INHM" (E-mail: [email protected]) for 2022. The Scientific Affairs Department of   Baghdad University approved the research proposal.
 
Acknowledgments
 
We appreciate the efforts ff the scientific team of the Department of Vertebrates in "Natural History Research Center and Museum" for helping handle, photograph, and measure the specimens.   
 
Conflicts of interest: The author declares no conflict of interest related to the work in a manuscript.

 
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Received: January 15, 2023 / Accepted: February 25, 2023 / Published:15 March 2023
 
 
Citation: Muslim Hadi A.Checklist and distribution of Galliform Birds (Order: Galliformes) in Iraq. Revis Bionatura 2023;8 (1) 65. http://dx.doi.org/10.21931/RB/2023.08.01.65  
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