Avian diversity of Fars province (Southwestern Iran) with note on the zoogeographical composition

Document Type : Research articles

Author

Department of Biology, School of Science, Shiraz University

Abstract

Rich avifauna of Fars province, SW Iran, is a stem from high diversity of habitat and climate beside its geographical position as a crossroad between Palearctic, Oriental, and Afrotropical realms. It shares the greatest number of bird species with the Palearctic region, however two other faunal realms, including Oriental and Afrotropical have a pronounced influence on its avifauna. It seems its bird fauna to be more in common with the Oriental elements than Afrotropical ones; the question addressed in this study. In addition, the province is located east of the Western Palearctic and close to the Eastern Palearctic border. I explored how much its bird elements have in common with the Eastern Palearctic. It is important because in some cases, western and eastern bird elements may come together with a narrow or wide hybrid zone. Based on my expeditions in recent years and pervious published literature, I present the comprehensive annotated checklist including 371 bird species in 197 genera, 68 families and 23 orders. At least 88 species are resident, 193 species are breeding, 33 species are rare and 21 species are vagrant. Based on the international conservation criteria, five species fall under the EN, nine under the VU, 16 under the NT of IUCN and 62 species fall under the appendices of CITES, including eight species in appendix I and 54 in appendix II. Results show that the Fars province shares the greatest number of bird species with the Palearctic region (364). The province lies within the West Palearctic faunal region and as expected, its bird fauna shares a greater number of species with the western Palaearctic than its eastern (346 versus 314). Our results also showed that the two other adjacent faunal regions including Oriental and Afrotropical have influence on its avifauna, and the province shares a greater number of species with the Oriental than to Afrotropical.

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