Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Syrian Woodpecker: distribution and range

The world range of Syrian Woodpecker is confined to the Palearctic from central Europe, the Balkans and Turkey, southwards into parts of the Near and Middle East as far as northern Egypt, and eastwards from northern Iraq to Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and parts of Iran. In fact the bulk of the population lies within the western Palearctic with the only inhabited area outside this (albeit arbitrary) region being in Iran. The species is typically found in continental and Mediterranean-type, drier, temperate zones and is essentially a lowland bird occurring from sea level to medium altitudes. In the Carpathian Basin Syrian Woodpeckers are usually found below 350m, in Greece and Bulgaria up to 1000m, but in Turkey and Iran they also occur over 2000m. Though none of the larger Mediterranean islands are populated there may be birds on the Greek islands of Samothraki, Thasos and Lesbos. The most north western known breeding record for Europe is from the Ceské Stredohori hills in the Louny district of the Czech Republic). This is outside the current core breeding range of the species, being some 60km northwest of Prague, and around 20 km from the German border. The most westerly breeding population is around Linz, Upper Austria, and the most northerly regular breeding area in Europe is probably around at Bialystok in NE Poland.

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