DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionArdeotis arabs occurs in Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The subspecies lynesi is known from Morocco, but there have been no definite records since 1962 and it is likely to be extinct (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Survey results and anecdotal observations from the more accessible and better monitored parts of its range suggest that it has undergone a rapid decline in recent decades owing to habitat destruction and hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Thiollay 2006). Vehicle-based transect surveys for raptors in the Sahel zone of Mali and Niger in 2004 failed to record any bustard species, despite A. arabs being frequently recorded along the same transects in 1971 and 1973 (Thiollay 2006). Bustards can be inconspicuous, which, coupled with the focus of these surveys on raptors, means that some birds were probably missed, and local hunters reported that bustard species were still extant in the surveyed areas; however, the difference between the survey results from the early 1970s and 2004 most likely indicates dramatic declines in these species (Thiollay 2006). The species was formerly quite common in the Lake Chad area of Nigeria; however, the species may now have been extirpated from the country (P. Hall in litt. 2011).