Alpine rock partridge

Alectoris graeca saxatilis

[Translate to English:] IUCN Red List endangerment category: Vulnerable
  • Family
    Pheasants (Phasianidae)
  • Weight
    420 – 850 g
  • Habitat
    open mountain regions

Rocky run

Alpine rock partridges are typically found on steep rocky slopes, where they are well camouflaged by their grey plumage. They are skilled climbers and good fliers. However, when alarmed, they prefer to run for cover rather than fly, taking shelter in inaccessible crevices. They are intelligent landfowl and are particularly defensive during the breeding season.

A walking alpine rock partridge.

The problem: mountaineering

Mountaineers are impacting the lives of the alpine rock partridges. By leaving the marked trails, they directly disturb the birds, resulting in lower breeding success. Rock partridge ground nesting sites beneath alpine rose bushes also suffer from the onslaught of too many hikers and winter sports enthusiasts straying from the trails. This causes habitat deterioration for the birds.

Their secretive lifestyle and often inaccessible breeding areas make it difficult to count the populations.