Birds of Iran – An annotated checklist of the species and subspecies


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Abdolghasem Khaleghizadeh, Kees Roselaar, Derek A Scott, Mohammad Tohidifar, Jiri Mlikovsky, Michael Blair & Pavel Kvartalnov. 2017. Iranshenasi Publishing. Tehran. 474 pp, 80 colour photographs.

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Iran is one of the largest countries in the Western Palearctic (WP). It was not included in the WP by Cramp & Simmons (1977), but most authorities do include it in the ‘greater’ WP (Mitchell 2017, van den Berg 2018, Shirihai & Svensson 2018). As Iran’s avifauna consists largely of WP species, its inclusion within the region is well-founded (cf Martins & Hirschfeld 1998, Roselaar 2006, Ullman 2009).

Because of its large size (more than 1,6 mln km2) and location, the composition of Iran’s birdlife is highly diverse. The country’s position between the Caspian Sea in the north and the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean in the south, together with the high mountains (Zagros in the west and Elburs in the north) and two (almost uninhabited) salt deserts, makes for an impressive diversity of birdlife. For most WP birders, the country is very important, mysterious and often difficult to get to. Iran has a large number of species that can be seen only (or almost only) in the WP. The country is known to be a very important wintering area for waterbirds, eg c 3 million such birds were counted in January 2003 (van Diek et al 2004, Winkel et al 2010). Recently, the more than 7600 Lesser White-fronted Geese Anser erythropus discovered in Tabriz represented the highest count in recent times for any WP wintering site (cf DB 40: 46, 2018).

Information on the status of birds of Iran is scattered in many publications, so it is with great pleasure to welcome a book that presents an overview of all species and subspecies of birds recorded in this country up to the beginning of 2017. It is the first such publication for over a century following the checklist by Nikolay Alekseyevich Zarudny in 1911. The authors of the 2017 book have dedicated their book to this Russian researcher of the former Persia.

During their preparations for this book, the authors spent a great deal of time gathering literature on Iranian birds and checking databases and museum specimens for confirming the type localities of Iranian taxa. Short introductory chapters contain concise information about material and methods, definition of status and abundance categories, geographical regions and taxonomic terms. The main part of the book (bilingual, in English and Persian) is an annotated list of the 551 species and 535 subspecies of birds recorded in Iran, in accordance with the IOC World Bird List (version 5.4; with the exception of a few species). Besides brief information on eg the global and national range and conservation status, the species descriptions include information on status in Iran, taxonomic notes, museum specimens, references and comments

Approximate weight1394 Gram
Handling time7 Days
Book Cover TypeHardcover
Suitable forAdults
Language(s)Persian (Farsi) & English
Number of pages500
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    by a.soroosh.official

    Beautiful items, safely packed, reasonably priced, and delivered on time.

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