Pterocles orientalis

Black-bellied sandgrouse

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Birds (Aves)
Order  (Columbiformes)
Family  (Pteroclidae)
Genus  (Pterocles)
Species Authority Linnaeus, 1758
Summary Status: rare (Category III), declining in number throughout its range. The black-bellied sandgrouse inhabits the deserts and semi-deserts of southern Kazakstan, the Near East and North Africa. It prefers clay and gravel deserts, but as human activities have taken over these territories, the sandgrouse has been driven back into more sandy deserts. In Kazakstan, until the 1950s, the black-bellied sandgrouse was commonly hunted, but with the cultivation of additional desert lands, its numbers rapidly decreased. About 500 to 600 individuals can still be seen in one day along the Sary Su and Syr Darya Rivers. The total population is unknown, but continues to decline because of poaching. To protect this bird it is necessary to prohibit hunting and to create protected territories.

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