The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of large birds of the family Phasiani-dae. The body, which measures 50–70 cm in length, is compact, and the legs are strong. Males have a short spur. Members of the genus are distributed at high elevations in the Caucasus, Southern Siberia, Asia Minor, and Middle and Central Asia. There are five species, all of which are represented in the USSR: the Caucasian snow pheasant (T. caucasicus), in the Glavnyi Range in the Caucasus; the Caspian snow cock (T. caspius), in Armenia and the Kopetdag; the Himalayan snow cock (T. himalayensis), in the Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai; the Altai snow cock (T. altaicus), in the Altai and Saian ranges; and the Tibetan snow cock (T. tibetanus), in the eastern Pamir.

The best-known species is the Himalayan snow cock, the male of which weighs up to 3 kg. The plumage is similar for males and females—a claylike gray color with small black speckles and chestnut stripes on the sides and neck. The species inhabits meadows in the subalpine and alpine zones of mountains, spending the night among the rocks. After heavy snow it migrates to elevations of 1,500–2,000 m. The birds are monogamous and nest on the ground. There are five or six eggs in a clutch. The birds brood about 30 days. Adult birds feed on shoots, buds, flowers, seeds, and bulbs, while the young feed on insects. The Himalayan snow cock is hunted for sport.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the local species, shikra (Accipiter badius) can be found along the rivers, and Caucasian snowcock (Tetraogallus caucasicus) is present on the rock falls.
According to Blumstein (1995) globally important birds like Snow Partridge (Lerwa lerwa), Himalayan Snow Cock (Tetraogallus himalayensis), Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar), Snow Pigeon (Columbia leuconota), Pintail (Anas acuta), Common Teal (Anas crecca) and many others are found in the different areas of Gilgit-Baltistan.The Central Karakoram National Park (CKNP) is the largest Protected Area of Pakistan spanning over 10,000 km2 containing 230 villages within its buffer zone covering more than 7000 km2 (Anonymous, 2007).
For example, Himalayan snowcocks (Tetraogallus himalayensis), a bird that feeds on grasses, forbs, and sedges, are more vulnerable to raptorial predators in areas where they can forage most efficiently (Bland and Temple 1990).
Shounther valley supports a blend of Western Himalaya's biodiversity of global priority for conservation (Myers et al., 2000), such as snow leopard (Panthera uncia), common leopard (Panthera pardus), brown bear (Ursus arctos), woolly flying squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereous), Himalayan snow cock (Tetraogallus himalayensis), and snow partridge (Lerwa lerwa).