Preliminary Results on genetic diversity of chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar, Galliformes) in Turkiye

Kabasakal B., Kaya S., Aslan A., Erdoğan A.

9th International Symposium on Ecology and Enviromental Problems, Antalya, Turkey, 1 - 03 November 2019, pp.66

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.66
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


The genus Alectoris has seven species that are distributed across to whole Palaearctic from China to Spain. In this distribution range, the Mediterranean basin is the main species richness area. The Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar, Galliformes) is a medium-sized partridge whose range extends from the Balkans to eastern Asia. Anatolia, the western edge of its distribution, is an important area in Chukar Partridge’s distribution range. However, there is not any knowledge on genetic diversity of Anatolian chukar populations and also any alien species contamination in native populations’ gene pools. Moreover, over the last 50 years, partridge populations of Turkiye have lived a considerable decline because of human activities such as excessive hunting, habitat destruction and environmental pollution. On the other hand, chukar partridge is economically important birds of Turkiye being as a game animal, and thousands of partridges breed in captivity are released to nature by The Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs for hunting purposes every year regardless of alien species contamination risk. In this study, we collected samples from 16 regions of Anatolia and Trace to determine the genetic sub-structure of Turkey chukar populations and any alien species contamination. In this purpose, over 200 specimens at two regions of mitochondrial DNA (mt-DNA: cytochrome b and D-loop) and fourteen loci of the microsatellite DNA were sequenced and genotyped. Our results indicate that i) chukar partridge in Turkey shows considerable genetic sub-structure related to geographic heterogeneity of Anatolia, ii) past climatic fluctuations left significant traces on the demography of Anatolian chukar populations, iii) in Anatolia there is only one Alectoris species-A. chukar- and are not any alien species genetic contamination signs on native chukar populations