VU
Asian Houbara Chlamydotis macqueenii



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note

Chlamydotis undulata and C. macqueenii (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as C. undulata following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).  

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - A4acd

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Vulnerable A4acd
2016 Vulnerable A4acd
2014 Vulnerable A4acd
2012 Not Recognised
2010 Not Recognised
2009 Not Recognised
2008 Not Recognised
2004 Not Recognised
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass -
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 13,200,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 8,940,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 33000-67000 mature individuals poor estimated 2014
Population trend decreasing medium inferred 2010-2030
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 30-49% - - -
Generation length 6.76 years - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Percentage of mature individuals in largest subpopulation 1-89% - - -

Population justification: The population was last estimated to be between 78,960 and 97,000 individuals globally (O. Combreau in litt. 2014, BirdLife International 2014), and stated as poorly known in 2016 (BirdLife International). Studies since have primarily focused on nest site selection and reintroduced populations; available data on breeding parameters of wild populations are insufficient (Azar et al., 2018). Accurately establishing the global population is extremely challenging. The population is expected to fall within the population band for 50,000-99,999 individuals, which is assumed to equate to c.33,000-67,000 mature individuals. The breeding population in Kazakhstan has been estimated at c.49,000 individuals (Riou et al. 2011).


Trend justification: Since 1998, biannual surveys have been carried out in southern Kazakhstan (Tourenq et al. 2004, 2005, Riou et al. 2011), which holds over 50% of the global population and is the source of most migrants to Arabia, Pakistan and Iran. The initial published analysis of the first four years of data (1998-2002) suggested alarming declines across all regions surveyed (Tourenq et al. 2004, 2005). Subsequent assessment of 10 years of survey data from 2000 to 2009 by Riou et al. (2011) confirmed on-going declines in some regions, but also suggested stabilising and even increasing populations in others. Overall, the population in Kazakhstan is estimated to have declined by 26-36% between 2000 and 2009 (Riou et al. 2011). Anecdotal evidence indicates that there have been recent declines in Iran (R. Ayé in litt. 2013), with one source stating "near extirpation of resident populations in Iran" (Haghani et al., 2017) and that hunting pressure has been very high in Iraq (R. Porter in litt. 2013) and Pakistan (S. Khan in litt. 2013) in recent years. Based on these data and observations, the population is suspected to be declining by 30-49% over a three-generation (20-year) window, stretching from the past into the future.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Afghanistan extant native yes yes yes
Bahrain extant native yes yes
China (mainland) extant native yes
Egypt extant native yes yes
India extant native yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes yes yes
Iraq extant native yes yes yes
Israel extant native yes
Jordan extant native yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kuwait extant native yes yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Oman extant native yes yes yes
Pakistan extant native yes yes yes
Palestine extant native yes
Qatar extant native yes yes
Saudi Arabia extant native yes yes yes
Syria extant native yes yes yes
Tajikistan extant native yes
Türkiye extinct native yes
Turkmenistan extant native yes yes yes
United Arab Emirates extant reintroduced yes yes
Uzbekistan extant native yes yes yes
Yemen extant native yes yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
United Arab Emirates Al Marmoom Desert
United Arab Emirates Al Houbara
United Arab Emirates Dubai Desert
India Gosabara (Mokarsar) wetland complex
Israel Western Negev
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kavir region
Iran, Islamic Republic of Touran
Iran, Islamic Republic of Kalmand Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bakhtegan, Lake Tashk and Kamjan marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hormod Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bahram-e-Gour Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hamoun-i Gabi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Monde Protected Area
Oman Jiddat al Harasis
Saudi Arabia Harrat al-Harrah
Syria Wadi al-Azib
Syria Jabal al-Bishri
Syria Jabal Sis
Syria Sabkhat al-Jabboul
China (mainland) Karamay Mountains
India Desert National Park
India Banni Grassland and Chhari Dhand
India Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary
Kazakhstan Zhusandala
Kazakhstan Arys-Karaktau State Reserved Zone
Kazakhstan Altyn-Emel National Park
Uzbekistan The desert around Kurkuduk village
Uzbekistan Saiga Nature Sanctuary
Uzbekistan Rogatoe Lake
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Uzbekistan Karnabchul Steppe
Uzbekistan Karakyr Lakes
Uzbekistan Dzheiran Ecocentre
Turkmenistan Repetek
Israel Cliffs of Zin and the Negev highlands
Tajikistan Kayrakkum Reservoir
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Sarysu River
Kazakhstan Telikol Lakes
Uzbekistan Buzaubay
Turkmenistan Badhyz
Uzbekistan Kattakurgan Reservoir
Uzbekistan Northern part of the Assake-Audan depression
Turkmenistan Garabil
Uzbekistan Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake
Kazakhstan Zhagabulak Forest
Afghanistan Hamun-i-Puzak
Afghanistan North-western steppe
Afghanistan Registan desert
Syria Tadmur desert and mountains
Mongolia Achit Lake
Mongolia Boon Tsagaan Lake
Mongolia Borzon Gobi
Mongolia Khasagt Khairkhan Mountain
China (mainland) Burgen River Valley
China (mainland) Baytik Shan
China (mainland) Ebi Nur and Kuytun River
China (mainland) Mori Grassland
Mongolia Galba Gobi
Jordan Azraq
Jordan Burqu'
Jordan Wadi Araba
Iraq Wadi Al-W’eir & Sh'eeb Abu-Talha
Iraq Razzaza Lake
Iraq Dalmaj Marsh
Iraq Shuweicha Marsh
Iraq Hoshiya and Saaroot
Iraq Jazman (Zurbatia)
Iraq Salman
Iraq Sawa Lake and Area
Iraq Suwaibaat (Sleibaat)
Iraq Teeb Oasis and Zubaidaat
Iraq Teab Seasonal Wetlands
Yemen Desert west of Al-Ghayda

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot major non-breeding
Desert Hot major breeding
Desert Temperate major breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Energy production & mining Mining & quarrying Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Energy production & mining Oil & gas drilling Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance War, civil unrest & military exercises Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Species disturbance
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Dams (size unknown) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem conversion
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Soil erosion, sedimentation Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Garbage & solid waste Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Utility & service lines Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - non-trivial recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Chlamydotis macqueenii. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/asian-houbara-chlamydotis-macqueenii on 26/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 26/02/2024.