STATUS. Small species (II category)
Habitat: A rare, narrow-range species, the number of which is declining. Wing length 209-232 mm. Highlands of the Caucasus.
Spread. Inhabits the northern slopes of the Caucasus - the upper reaches of the Belaya and Bol rivers. Zelenchuk, Teberda, Kuban, Malka, Cherek, Terek. Outside of Russia, it is found in the Greater Caucasus and a number of ridges of the Lesser Caucasus. Outside the former USSR, he lives in Turkey. Summer habitats are alpine meadows, thickets of rhododendron, undersized birch, winter habitats are subalpine upland forests, the lower part of the alpine zone is warmed up, tall fir forests. In spring, black grouse ascend to the upper border of forests and to thawed patches of alpine meadows, to nesting sites (1). Nest - a hole lined with dry grass and several feathers, is located in thickets of rhododendrons, juniper or in subalpine tall grasses, sometimes in a niche between stones.
The number. Low throughout the range. In the Teberda Nature Reserve, the population density of black grouse in 1960 was 1.4 birds per 1 sq. Km, and in 1967-1968. reached 3.8 birds per 1 sq. km (2). In the Western Caucasus, the population density is 2.5 individuals per 1 km2, and in the most populated areas - 10 birds per 1 km2 (3).
In the Teberda Nature Reserve, an increase in the number was noted since 1964 - 21 years after the cessation of cattle grazing.
Limiting factors. The main reason for the decline in the number is intensive grazing in nesting areas, poaching. Fluctuations in numbers are explained by hypothermia of eggs and chicks during prolonged cold snaps (4). In a clutch, there are 5 - 7, sometimes 9 eggs. The mortality rate of chicks is very high: in the period from 20 to 30 June, the average number of chicks in a brood is 3.8, in August - 2.8 (1.3).
Security measures. The catch of the Caucasian black grouse is prohibited within the entire range. Part of the population is protected in Teberdinsky, Kabardino-Balkarsky and Caucasian reserves. The species is included in Appendix II to the CITES Convention. It is necessary to strengthen the fight against poaching, to organize seasonal reserves with a regime that protects the breeding grounds of the Caucasian black grouse.
Sources of information: 1. Mikheev, 1952, 2. Vitovich, 1977a, 3. Zhuravlev, 1977, 4. Vitovich, 1977b. Compiled by G.K. Ivanov.
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Coin 50 rubles. Caucasian black grouse. 1993 year
Face value: 50 rubles
Year of issue: 1993
Circulation: 300,000 pcs
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Caucasian black grouse (Latin Lyrurus mlokosiewiczi) - one of two representatives of the grouse family in the territory of the former USSR. Distributed only in the Caucasus in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey. Sedentary view. Inhabits at altitudes up to 3300 meters above sea level, nests below, up to 2600 meters above sea level. Inhabits shrubs of rhododendron and rose hips and small groves overgrown with undersized birch and juniper.