Growth patterns in Barbary partridges Alectoris barbara originated from low- and high elevations in West central Morocco

Aourir M., El Abbassi A., Znari M.



Abstract:

The Barbary partridge, the family Phasianidae, is the main game bird in Morocco and which was reported to be heavier and larger in mountains than in lowlands. In this regard, the purpose of the present study was to investigate posthatching growth of body weight and seven morphometric parameters in Barbary partridges Alectoris barbara originated from low- and high elevations, and raised in common captive environment. Gompertz model presents the best fit to the growth curves for body weight, wing, leg and sternum. Mean body weight at hatching was similar between elevations and was relatively higher, compared to that in other studied perdicine species. Adult Barbary partridges from high and low elevations maintained the difference in body weight when raised in common captive environment. This suggests a role of genetic selection and / or maternal effects between the two studied populations. However, all the other growth parameters of morphological traits were similar between captive birds originated from the two elevations. This lack of difference could be related to a potential phenotypic plasticity with a convergence in common captive environment.