southern Europe = north Italy.
Possibly closest to A. graeca. Previously thought to be close to A. chukar, A. philbyi and A. barbara; now considered to be more distant from those and from A. magna. Hybridizes with A. graeca in S French Alps. Recent study suggested that current populations resulted from post-glacial expansion and subsequent differentiation, with five diagnosable genetic clusters: south-western Iberia; central-eastern Iberia; north-western Iberia; Balearic; and French and Italian#R. However, an analysis of the control region of mitochondrial DNA (in 346 individuals sampled throughout the species distribution range) has shown that there is no distinct intraspecific phylogeographical structure, against the expected distribution of subspecies based on morphological characters; only the NW Iberian populations (race hispanica) show a weak population structure#R. Geographical plumage variation slight and clinal; Corsican population has been separated as race corsa, but usually included in nominate; race australis described from Gran Canaria (Canary Is), where species is introduced. Three subspecies recognized.
Introduced in several parts of Europe (e.g. rufa in Britain), and several Atlantic islands (hispanica in Madeira, intercedens and perhaps hispanica in Azores, intercedens in Canary Is); unsuccessfully in USA and New Zealand.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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