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GAP Analysis Predicted Distribution Map

Chukar (Alectoris chukar)

Species Code: ALCH

Click to enlarge Range map

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat

Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

Metadata (Data about data or how the map was made)

Click to enlarge distribution map

Other maps & Information:
  • Breeding Bird Atlas
  • NatureMapping observations
    during breeding season
  • NatureMapping observations
    throughout the year

This species is common in rocky shrub-steppe areas on the east side. They are mainly limited to the central and lower Columbia Basin, along the Columbia River in Klickitat County, and the Methow and Okanogan valleys. They are local and less common in eastern Washington, but are primarily in rocky areas like along the Snake River. They prefer rocky slopes with shrub-steppe cover but are also found in flatter areas.

Steppe zones within its range were the core areas of use. All upland steppe habitats (sparse vegetation, grassland, shrub savanna, shrubland, and tree savanna) were good.

Introductions sometimes make a species difficult to model because the range limits are uncertain and introduction is sporadic. Chukars have sustained breeding populations throughout the area above, though numbers can vary based on habitat and recent introductions. In the Palouse region and the eastern Columbia Basin, their distribution is more restricted to areas with rocky soils, such as along the Snake River. The lack of records from the easternmost channeled scablands suggests that Chukars are also absent in that area, but the soil certainly appears rocky enough to support them. The lack of records there may reflect a lack of sampling. Some authorities report that the Chukar's breeding distribution is also dependant on availability of large areas of introduced Cheatgrass, a staple in this species' winter diet.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Webpage designed by Dave Lester