Elgon francolin

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Elgon francolin
Illustration by Keulemans, 1893
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Scleroptila
S. elgonensis
Binomial name
Scleroptila elgonensis

Scleroptila psilolaema elgonensis
Scleroptila shelleyi elgonensis
Francolinus elgonensis
Francolinus psilolaema elgonensis
Francolinus shelleyi elgonensis

The Elgon francolin (Scleroptila elgonensis) is a francolin found in moorland at altitudes above 2,300 metres (7,500 ft) from eastern Uganda (Mount Elgon) to central Kenya.[2][3][4][5][6]

It was described by Ogilvie-Grant in 1891 as Francolinus elgonensis, and some authorities still use the genus Francolinus for all members otherwise placed in Scleroptila.[2][5] It was previously considered a subspecies of the moorland francolin (S. psilolaema), which is now thought to be endemic to Ethiopia.[2] Alternatively, it was suggested as a subspecies of the Shelley's francolin (S. shelleyi elgonensis),[2] or even a hybrid between the moorland and red-winged francolins.[7] However, it was split as a distinct species by the IUCN Red List and BirdLife International in 2014, and by the International Ornithological Congress in 2022 based on a 2019 study.[8][9] The Elgon francolin resembles the moorland francolin, but the latter is duller (less rufescent) and has a black-dotted throat, and also differs in vocalizations.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Scleroptila elgonensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22727349A94947382. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e McGowan, P. J. K. (1994). Moorland Francolin (Francolinus elgonensis). Pp. 494 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Sargatal, J. eds. (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelon. ISBN 84-87334-15-6
  3. ^ Zimmerman, D. A., Turner, D. A., & Pearson, D. J. (1999). Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-5079-6
  4. ^ Sinclair, I., & Ryan, P. (2003). Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Struik Publishers, Cape Town. ISBN 1-86872-857-9
  5. ^ a b Dickinson, E. C. eds. (2003). The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd edition. ISBN 0-7136-6536-X
  6. ^ Clements, J. F. (2007). The Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 978-0-7136-8695-1
  7. ^ McCarthy, Eugene M. (2006). Handbook of avian hybrids of the world. Oxford University Press US. p. 50. ISBN 978-0-19-518323-8.
  8. ^ abc_admin (2019-05-13). "Elgon Francolin Scleroptila elgonensis should be treated as a species distinct from Moorland Francolin S. psilolaema". African Bird Club. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  9. ^ "IOC World Bird List 12.1". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.12.1. Retrieved 2022-01-29.