Negin Nourani Najafi 

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio is a resident waterbird and seasonal breeder in Iran. Its habitats are wetlands with vast reedbeds and the verge of lakes with thick vegetation. There are two subspecies of Purple Gallinules in Iran. One is the P. p. seistanicus extending to the south and the east of Iran and another subspecies is P. p. caspius extending to northwest Iran. In recent years, due to destruction of reedbeds of their habitats and hunting, their population is extremely reduced.

Therefore, we studied breeding biology and ecology of Purple Gallinule in the central part of the Anzali wetland during breeding seasons of 2011 and 2012. The Anzali wetland, at South West coast of the Caspian Sea is one of main wintering and breeding sites of Purple Gallinule with extremely limited population.

In winter Purple Gallinules were observed all over the Anzali wetland, but during breeding seasons (spring and summer), the remaining resident group gathered in some areas to gain more security. It seems that Purple Gallinule is a shrewd and bold bird to avoid predation dangers, whenever it is chased in open water- area it dives quickly and can remain under water. Its breeding season begins from middle of April , therefore it seems that in Anzali wetland the beginning of breeding activities and the selection of nesting site for this species are related to the beginning of re-growing of reeds and reduction of water depth, both factors influence predation risk. Perhaps reeds height and density create barriers against bird- predators that fallow preys by their visual ability and a special level of water depth or muddy lands reduces the mobility and the ability of access to nests by mammalian predators. 

Unfortunately, Purple Gallinule is very vulnerable to hunting, mainly due to its similar flight pattern to Common Coot, and its weak reaction to shooting ranges in the hunting. 

In the Gilan Province, at the end of the 1990s this subspecies was protected and its hunting was prohibited. In spite of this protective action its population has been reduced continuously. Greatest damage to its population happened in winter 2008 after heavy snowfall and following the vast destruction of reedbeds as their shelter made them the easy targets for hunters which caused their extensive hunting. Our recent observation of Purple Gallinules in pairs in the Anzali, instead of groups of birds, could be also an indication of environmental destruction of their habitats. However, conservation activities in Europe showed the potential for increasing the population of Purple Gallinules where the the habitats were protected. The same scenario can happen in the Anzali wetland with the protection of habitats and hunting prevention.

Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio is a resident waterbird and seasonal breeder in Iran. Its habitats are wetlands with vast reedbeds and the verge of lakes with thick vegetation. There are two subspecies of Purple Gallinules in Iran. One is the P. p. seistanicus extending to the south and the east of Iran and another subspecies is P. p. caspius extending to northwest Iran. In recent years, due to destruction of reedbeds of their habitats and hunting, their population is extremely reduced. Therefore, we studied breeding biology and ecology of Purple Gallinule in the central part of the Anzali wetland during breeding seasons of 2011 and 2012. The Anzali wetland, at South West coast of the Caspian Sea is one of main wintering and breeding sites of Purple Gallinule with extremely limited population.

In winter Purple Gallinules were observed all over the Anzali wetland, but during breeding seasons (spring and summer), the remaining resident group gathered in some areas to gain more security. It seems that Purple Gallinule is a shrewd and bold bird to avoid predation dangers, whenever it is chased in open water- area it dives quickly and can remain under water. Its breeding season begins from middle of April , therefore it seems that in Anzali wetland the beginning of breeding activities and the selection of nesting site for this species are related to the beginning of re-growing of reeds and reduction of water depth, both factors influence predation risk. Perhaps reeds height and density create barriers against bird- predators that fallow preys by their visual ability and a special level of water depth or muddy lands reduces the mobility and the ability of access to nests by mammalian predators. 

Unfortunately, Purple Gallinule is very vulnerable to hunting, mainly due to its similar flight pattern to Common Coot, and its weak reaction to shooting ranges in the hunting. 

In the Gilan Province, at the end of the 1990s this subspecies was protected and its hunting was prohibited. In spite of this protective action its population has been reduced continuously. Greatest damage to its population happened in winter 2008 after heavy snowfall and following the vast destruction of reedbeds as their shelter made them the easy targets for hunters which caused their extensive hunting. Our recent observation of Purple Gallinules in pairs in the Anzali, instead of groups of birds, could be also an indication of environmental destruction of their habitats. However, conservation activities in Europe showed the potential for increasing the population of Purple Gallinules where the the habitats were protected. The same scenario can happen in the Anzali wetland with the protection of habitats and hunting prevention.

 

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