Journal of Ornithology

, Volume 146, Issue 1, pp 24–26 | Cite as

Morphometrics of the Chinese grouse Bonasa sewerzowi

  • Yue-Hua Sun
  • Yun Fang
  • Jon E. Swenson
  • Siegfried Klaus
  • Guang-Mei ZhengEmail author
Original Article


We report on the body size and mass and egg size and mass of the Chinese grouse (Bonasa sewerzowi), one of the least known grouse in the world. Although reported to be the smallest grouse in the world, not enough data have been available to substantiate this claim. We document that the Chinese grouse is, in fact, the smallest grouse in the world. It shows significant changes in body mass between the reproductive and nonreproductive season (males average 310 g in the reproductive season and 341 g in the nonreproductive season; females averaged 338 and 315 g, respectively). Egg mass averages 20.6–21.6 g and shows significant annual variation. The Chinese grouse shows some of the highest relative reproductive investment among grouse, both for egg mass (6.1–6.9% of female body mass) and clutch mass (38–43%).


Allometrics Body size Bonasa sewerzowi Egg mass Reproductive investment 



This study was supported by grants of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX2-SW-188), National Natural Science Foundation of China (30370223), Deutsche Forschungs-Gemeinschaft, The Swedish Research Council, BP Conservation Programme, World Pheasant Association(WPA), WPA-Germany, Martin Wills Trust, Norwegian Research Council, and Norwegian Institute for Nature Research. We thank the Lianhuashan Natural Reserve for great help with our work. Jiang Yingxin helped greatly with the fieldwork. All of the required permissions for the capture, handling, and radio-collaring of Chinese grouse were obtained from the appropriate authorities of the People’s Republic of China.


  1. Bergmann H-H, Klaus S, Muller F, Scherzinger W, Swenson JE, Wiesner J (1996) Die Haselhuhner Bonasa bonasia und B. sewerzowi. Westarp, Magdeburg, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  2. Braun CE, Martin K, Robb LA (1993) White-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus leucurus). In: Poole A, Gill F (eds) The birds of North America, No. 68. The Birds of North America, Philadelphia, Pa.Google Scholar
  3. Cheng T-H (1978) Fauna Sinica, vol 4 Galliformes. Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Choate TS (1960) Notes on the morphology of white-tailed ptarmigan (Lagopus lercurus) in Glacier National Park, Montana. Proc Montana Acad Sci 20:27–32Google Scholar
  5. Johnsgard PA (1983) The grouse of the world. University of Nebraska Press, LincolnGoogle Scholar
  6. Johnson RE, Lockner FR (1968) Heart size and altitude in ptarmigan. Condor 70:185Google Scholar
  7. Keppie DM (1985) Weight loss of spruce grouse eggs during incubation. Can J Zool 63:888–890Google Scholar
  8. Liu N, Geng Z (1994) Reproduction of Severzov’s hazel grouse (Bonasa sewerzowi). Gibier Faune Sauvage 11:39–49Google Scholar
  9. Peters RH (1983) The ecological implications of body size. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  10. Przheval’skii NM (1876) Mongoliya i stana Tangutov, vol 2. St. PetersburgGoogle Scholar
  11. Sæther B-E, Andersen R (1988) Ecological consequences of body size in grouse Tetraonidae. Cinclus 11:19–26Google Scholar
  12. Stearns SC (1992) The evolution of life histories. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Storch I (2000) Grouse status survey and conservation action plan 2000–2004. WPA/BirdLife/SSC Grouse Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  14. Stresemann E, Meise W, Schönwetter M (1938) Testrastes sewerzowi sewerzowi Przewalski. J Ornithol 86:208–209.Google Scholar
  15. Sun Y-H, Swenson JE, Fang Y, Klaus S, Scherzinger W (2003) Population ecology of the Chinese grouse, Bonasa sewerzowi, in a fragmented landscape. Biol Conserv 110:177–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Zheng G, Wang Q (1998) China red data book of endangered animals, Aves. Science Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Dt. Ornithologen-Gesellschaft e.V.  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yue-Hua Sun
    • 1
  • Yun Fang
    • 2
  • Jon E. Swenson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Siegfried Klaus
    • 5
  • Guang-Mei Zheng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Biological SciencesBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Ecology and Natural Resource ManagementAgricultural University of NorwayÅsNorway
  4. 4.Norwegian Institute for Nature ResearchNorwegian Institute for Nature ResearchTrondheimNorway
  5. 5.Thüringer Landesanstalt für Umwelt und GeologieJenaGermany

Personalised recommendations