Skip to content

Pterocles coronatus

warning Vulnerable
VU (C1,C2b)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev, Itay Shanni, Meidad Goren

The Crowned Sandgrouse is classified as Vulnerable (VU) based on its population size (less than 1,000 individuals) and on the rate of decrease in the number of breeding individuals, estimated at more than 20% over two generations (11.2 years). On the other hand, the population in Israel is part of a larger nomadic population, which could provide immigration (“rescue effect”). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Endangered (EN). The apparent improvement in the threat category does not reflect a true improvement trend, but rather a slowing down of the decline rate, as well as differences in the quality of data and assessment methods between the two editions.
VU Current Regional Assessment | EN Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Desert Plains
Presence In Israel Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Resident, Nomad
Zoography Zones Saharo-Arabian
Landscape Formations Plains & Valleys, Wide Wadis
Vegetation Formations Herbaceous
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Unknown

The Crowned Sandgrouse is a relatively small and short-tailed sandgrouse with a sandy brown plumage. The male has an orange throat and cheeks and a thick white-bordered black stripe around its bill on its chin and forehead. The female is densely striped and spotted and its throat and the sides of its head are yellowish. Light underparts and the contrast between its pale wing coverts and black flight feathers are visible in flight. Its call is uneven and reminiscent of a chicken-like chatter.

Resident in the Negev and Arava (south of the Dimona-Yeroham-Tse’elim line). It is nomadic over large areas and numbers vary from year to year depending on the amount of precipitation and food availability. Flocks are smaller compared to other sandgrouse and it inhabits more arid areas. Since the 1980s its numbers are declining, particularly in the northern part of its range.

Stony Hamadas, loess plains and the openings of broad wadis. Crowned Sandgrouse inhabit only arid deserts and are not found in cultivated fields. They fly to watering spots to drink, and therefore require a permanently available water source within several dozen kilometers from their nesting areas.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרלמן, י., אלתרמן, ש. וגרניט, ב. 2011. סקר עופות דוגרים בנחלים הפנימיים, אביב 2011. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פרלמן, י., שוחט, א. ולבינגר, ז. 2009. סקר אטלס ציפורים בערבה סיכום שנת 2009. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • צורים ע, לב ק. ( 2008 ). שינויים בתפוצת הקטות בצפון מערב הנגב בעשורים האחרונים. פוסטר. רשות הטבע . והגנים, מחוז דרום. יום המדע אפריל 2008
  • שוחט א, גרניט ב. ( 2010 ). סקר קטות בנגב – קיץ 2010 . דו"ח עבור מחוז דרום של רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • שוחט, א. וגרניט, ב. 2011. סיכום סקר קטות באתרי שתיה בניצנה - קיץ 2011. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים, החברה להגנת הטבע ומרכז דוכיפת לצפרות ואקולוגיה בירוחם.
  • Perlman, Y., Shochat, E. and Labinger, Z. 2011. Developing Managment plan for important bird areas in southern Israel. second annual report, Nizzana region and Arava Valley.Israeli Ornithological center, SPNI.
  • Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
  • Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
  • Species page at Birdlife International
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev, Itay Shanni, Meidad Goren

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Pterocles alchata
Pterocles senegallus
Pterocles orientalis
Pterocles lichtensteinii