Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _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
2020 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2018 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2016 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2012 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
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 altitudinal migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,410,000
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 79600-154200 poor estimated 2020
Population trend Decreasing inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 10-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 10-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -

Population justification: The breeding population, which is confined to Europe, is estimated to number 39,800-77,100 pairs, which equates to 79,600-154,200 mature individuals (BirdLife International in prep.).

Trend justification: The species is thought to be declining moderately rapidly, particularly in the Balkans, based on a balanced assessment of the available evidence (Griffin 2011, A. Bernard-Laurent in litt. 2012, BirdLife International in prep.). The species is declining owing to habitat degradation, caused in many places by agricultural abandonment resulting in increased woody cover of previously discontinuous vegetation (Budinsky et al. 2011, Knaus et al. 2018, Rippa et al. 2011, R. Lentner in litt. 2020). The expansion of dense Brachypodium genuense dominated grassland in the Apennines is similarly reducing suitable habitat for the species (Brusaferro et al. 2019). It is also declining owing to over-hunting in some areas (del Hoyo et al. 1994) especially where enforcement is poor allowing permits to be sold on to foreign hunters (B. Rubinić in litt. 2020). This is reflected in its classification as Threatened or Near Threatened in a number of recently published national Red Data Books (covering c. 70% of the species’s global population) in which the species has been classified on the basis of population declines thought to approach or exceed 30% over the last three generations.

Hunting opportunity information (C. Thomaides in litt. 2020), based on abundance rather than number of licences issued, showed a reduction in Greece of greater than 20% between 2008/9 and 2018/9. The trend in hunting bag data (A. Gassios, C. Kalaitzis, D. Nikolau and C. Thomaides in litt. 2020) also shows a rapid decline, equivalent to 45-46% over ten years (99,900-115,800 individuals in 2012/13 and 68,800-80,800 in 2017/18), but there was a decrease in the number of licences issued over this period due to the economic downturn, such that the rate of decline is not believed to be this rapid. In the absence of published monitoring data, inferences from hunting opportunity bags also appear to be the most robust information on populations in the Italian Alps, as these are based on annual plans based on censuses in spring and at the end of summer (M. Sorrenti and V. Trocchi in litt. 2020). These demonstrate a sudden decrease between the period 2006-2008 (annual mean 1,117) and 2009-2014 (annual mean 573 (Artuso 2014, 2019), a ten-year decline approaching 50%.  

Overall, the decline over ten years (generation length for the species is 2.8 years [Bird et al. 2020]) is suspected to approach, but not currently exceed, 30%.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Albania N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Belgium I Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Lebanon I Extant Yes
Liechtenstein N Extinct Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Romania N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Spain I Extant Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Turkey V Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
North Macedonia Kozhuf mountain and Boshava river
North Macedonia Demir Kapija Gorge
North Macedonia River Crna gorge
North Macedonia Babuna gorge, Topolka gorge, and Crn Kamen
North Macedonia Shar Planina Mountain
Slovenia Julijci
Slovenia Karst
Greece Mount Oiti
Greece Mount Parnassos
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Mount Ochi and surrounding marine area
Greece Mount Peristeri
Greece Lake Stymfalia
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Vardousia
Greece Mounts Agia Dynati and Kokkini Rachi, Kefalonia
Greece Tymfi (Gkamila) and Smolikas mountains
Greece Kythira island
Greece Mount Vourinos
Greece Aliakmonas gorge
Greece Athamanika mountains (Tzoumerka)
Greece Kalamaki gorge and Zarkou mountains
Greece Mount Othrys
Greece Apsalos and Moglenitsa gorges
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Mount Kerketio (Koziakas)
Greece Echinades, Kalamos and Atokos islands
Greece Agrafa mountains
Greece Artemisio and Lyrkeio mountains
Greece Mount Kyllini (Ziria)
Greece Mount Chelmos (Aroania)
Greece Mount Erymanthos
Greece Prespa National Park and Varnountas mountains
Greece Mount Mavrovouni, Larisa
Greece Tsamanta, Filiata, Farmakovouni and Megali Rachi mountains
Greece Mount Olympos
Greece Valtou mountains
Greece Mount Kantili
Greece Southern Mani, mount Sangias and cape Tainaro
Greece Mount Itamos
Greece Akarnanika mountains
Greece Acherontas gorge and estuary
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece Acheloos valley
Greece Mount Taygetos
Greece Lake Agras
Greece Mount Voras (Kaïmaktsalan)
Greece Mount Beles (Kerkini)
Greece Mount Krousia (Mavrovouni and Dysoro)
Greece Mount Pangaio
Greece Mounts Orliakas and Tsourgiakas
Greece Lakes Cheimaditis and Zazari
Greece Mount Menoikio
Greece Lake Dystos
Greece Barbas and Klokos mountains and Selinountas gorge
Greece Zakynthos island
Greece Vouraïkos gorge and Kalavryta
France Vallée du Haut-Guil
France Bec de Crigne
France Bois du Chapitre
France Parc National du Mercantour
France Parc National des Ecrins
France Parc National de la Vanoise
France Les Bauges
France Haut Giffre
Italy Mount Cofano, Cape San Vito and Mount Sparagio
Italy Madonie
Italy Nebrodi
Italy Mount Cervati
Italy Abruzzo National Park
Italy Maiella, Pizzi and Frentani mountains
Italy Sirente, Velino and Duchessa mountains
Italy Gran Sasso d'Italia
Italy Rieti mountains
Italy Laga mountains
Italy Sibillini mountains
Italy Adamello-Brenta
Italy Stelvio National Park
Italy Alto Garda Bresciano
Italy Camonica valley
Italy Orobie Alps and pre-Alps
Italy Ligurian Alps
Italy Maritime Alps
Italy Anzasca and Antrona valleys
Italy Antigorio and Formazza valleys
Italy Gran Paradiso
Italy Grigne
Italy Lessini and Pasubio mountains
Italy Lagorai mountains
Italy Carniche Alps
Italy Lucretili mountains
Italy Cicolano
Italy Pollino
Italy Sicani mountains
Italy Lepini mountains
Italy Mount Pecoraro and Pizzo Cirina
Italy Furlo gorge and Mount Catria
Italy Val Grande
Italy Anapo gorges
Italy Mounts Orsomarso and Verbicaro
Italy Mount Grappa
Italy Giulie Pre-Alps
Italy Mont Blanc (Italian side)
Italy Dolomites
Serbia Valjevske mountains
Serbia Tara mountain
Serbia Uvac-Milesevka
Serbia Kopaonik
Serbia Prokletije
Serbia Sara mountain
Serbia Pcinja
Serbia Jerma
Serbia Suva mountain
Serbia Stara mountains
Serbia Sicevo gorge
Serbia Zlot gorge--Dubasnica
Serbia Resava gorge
Serbia Derdap gorge
Austria Hohe Tauern National Park
Austria Nockberge National Park
Austria Kaisergebirge
Austria Silvretta and Verwall
Switzerland Central Valais between Sierre and Visp
Switzerland Valley of Zermatt
Switzerland Lower Engadine and Swiss National Park
Switzerland Simplon region
Switzerland Maggia valley
Switzerland Piora - Dötra
Switzerland Bregaglia valley
Switzerland Pre-alpine region of Pays d'Enhaut
Switzerland Pre-alpine region of Gurnigel
Switzerland Aletsch region
Switzerland Heinzenberg mountain and surrounding valleys
Switzerland Pre-alpine region of Schwyz
Germany Mangfall mountains and Rotwand area
Croatia Neretva Delta
Croatia Krka and Surrounding Plateau
Croatia Mount Velebit
Croatia Special Ornithological Reserve on Krk island
Montenegro Durmitor
Montenegro Biogradska woods
Montenegro Lake Skadar
Italy Gran Sasso and Laga mountains
Bulgaria Persenk
Bulgaria Vrachanski Balkan
Bulgaria Sredna Gora
Bulgaria Rila
Bulgaria Sinite Kamani-Grebenets
Bulgaria Western Rhodopes
Bulgaria Karlukovski Karst
Bulgaria Vitosha Mountain
Bulgaria Palakaria
Bulgaria Vasilyovska Mountain
Bulgaria Zemen Gordge
France Hauts Plateaux du Vercors et Forêt des Coulmes
North Macedonia Taor Gorge
North Macedonia River Topolka-river Babuna-river Bregalnica
North Macedonia Mariovo
North Macedonia Tikvesh Region
North Macedonia Lake Tikvesh
Bulgaria Central Balkan
Bulgaria Pirin
Bulgaria Osogovo Mountain
Bulgaria Western Balkan
Bulgaria Dobrostan
Bulgaria Kresna Gorge
Bulgaria Mesta Valley
Austria Northern Kalkalpen
Austria Niedere Tauern
Italy Carniche pre-Alps
Austria Karwendel
Italy Rhaetian Alps
Italy Val d'Ossola
Italy Monte Rosa (versante valdostano) ed Alta Val Sesia
Slovenia Breginjski Stol and Planja
Slovenia Vipavski rob
Slovenia Snežnik plateau and Pivka valley
Croatia Mount Mosor, Kozjak and Trogir Hinterland
Italy Monte Catria, Monte Acuto e Monte della Strega
Italy Ernici and Simbruini mountains
Italy Peloritani mountains
Italy Biviere and Plain of Gela
North Macedonia River Pchinja-river Petroshnica-river Kriva Reka
Slovenia Breginjski Stol
North Macedonia Gradsko-Rosoman-Negotino
Serbia Rtanj
Croatia Mount Biokovo and Rilic
Croatia Kvarner Islands
Croatia Mt Dinara
Croatia Middle Dalmatian Islands and Peljesac Penninsula
Croatia Gorski Kotar and Northern Lika
Croatia Ravni Kotari
Serbia Ozren-Jadovnik

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2400 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 3000 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
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%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Unknown Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Storms & flooding Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Alectoris chukar Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Alectoris rufa Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Residential & commercial development Tourism & recreation areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Alectoris graeca. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/10/2021.