Canarian Houbara (Chlamidotis undulata), "El Jable" plains, Lanzarote

The Canary Islands Houbara Bustard (Chlamydotis undulata fuertaventurae) is endemic to the eastern Canary Islands of Fuerteventura, Lobos, Lanzarote and Graciosa. Compared to the North African nominate subspecies, it is distinguished by a smaller size, darker and more extensive back markings and a less sandy overall colouring.

 

Archaeological evidence indicates that the Houbara Bustard has been present in the Canary Islands for 130-170,000 years. However, genetic data point to a more recent separation of C. u. fuertaventurae from the nominate subspecies around 20-25,000 years ago. This suggests that there was an initial colonisation of the Canary Islands about 130,000 years ago, followed by a second colonisation 19-30 000 years ago, with subsequent isolation until today.

 

Chlamydotis undulata is listed in Annex I of the EU Birds Directive. As such, it is the subject of

special conservation measures concerning its habitat, in order to ensure its survival and reproduction in its natural area of distribution.

 

Digiscoping with Swarovski ATM 80 HD 30 X, Coolpix P6000 (Adapter DCB)

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Taken on January 10, 2011