Pin-tailed Sandgrouse Pterocles alchata


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

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

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 13,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 12,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 170000-250000 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Stable suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.6 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 4,200-6,200 pairs, which equates to 8,400-12,400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms <5% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 170,000-250,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification: The global population is suspected to be stable overall however decreases are suspected in parts of its range and increases have been observed elsewhere (de Juana et al. 2015). The Spanish population is estimated to have increased strongly in the short-term while populations in France and Turkey are reported to be decreasing and fluctuating respectively (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant
Azerbaijan N Extant
Cyprus V Extant
Egypt N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greece V Extant
India N Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy V Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Libya N Extant
Malta V Extant
Morocco N Extant
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Spain Puebla de Don Fadrique-Las Cañadas
Spain Cogul-Alfés steppes
Spain Los Monegros (South)
Spain Monegrillo-Pina steppe area-Pina
Spain Bardenas Reales
Spain La Serena
Spain Bienvenida-Usagre-Ribera del Fresno
Spain Brozas-Membrío
Spain Plain between Cáceres and Trujillo-Aldea del Cano
Spain Trujillo-Torrecillas de la Tiesa
Spain Tembleque-La Guardia plains
Spain Campo de Montiel
Spain Tierra de Campiñas steppes
Spain Villafáfila
Spain Tordesillas-Mota del Marqués
Spain Ballobar-Candasnos
Spain Belchite-Mediana
Spain Alcañiz salt lakes
Spain San Clemente-Villarrobledo
Spain Tarancón-Ocaña-Corral de Almaguer
Spain Torrijos
Spain Campo de Calatrava
France Crau
Portugal Upper River Tejo
Afghanistan Registan desert
Iran, Islamic Republic of Gomishan marshes and Turkoman steppes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Karun river marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Horeh Bamdej
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hamidieh (Omidiyeh) plains
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hilleh Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bushire Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Monde Protected Area
Saudi Arabia Harrat al-Harrah
Jordan Shaumari
Iraq Abu Dalaf and Shari lake
Kazakhstan Middle reaches of the Sarysu River
Turkmenistan Chokrak-Tutly
Turkey Ceylanpınar
Turkey Akçakale Plains
Turkey Southern Euphrates Valley and Birecik Plains
Syria Buhayrat al-Assad
Kazakhstan Zhusandala
Spain Llanos de Plasencia
Spain Llanura y Muelas de Valdejalón - Muel
Spain Albacete - Barrax - La Roda
Kazakhstan Syrdarya Delta Lakes
Kazakhstan Altyn-Emel National Park

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Pterocles alchata. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022.