Interim profile, incomplete information
Taxonomic name: Gallus gallus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms: Gallus domesticus
Common names: arg (Estonian), ayam hutan (Malay), ayam hutan merah (Indonesian Bahasa), bankivahane (Norwegian), bankivahoen (Dutch), bankivahøne (Danish), bankivahuhn (German), bankivine viéta (Lithuanian), bankivska kokoš (Slovenian), caboni (Sardinian), caboniscu (Sardinian), calis (Latvian), cearc (Ireland), cipka, coq bankiva (French), csirke (Hungarian), cyplenok (Russian), cyw (Welsh), domestic fowl (English), eean (Manx), fellus (Maltese), feral chicken (English), frango (Portuguese), Gà r?ng jabou (Vietnamese), gaina (Romanian), galiña (Ireland), galinha (Portuguese), gall bankiva (Catalan), gallina (Catalan), gallo bankiva (Spanish), gallo comune (Italian), galo (Ireland), gjeli (Albanian), hænsn (Icelandic), haushuhn (German), hen kiark (Manx), hin (Frisian), höna (Swedish), høne (Norwegian), høsn (Faroese), junglefowl (English), k?topoul? (Greek), kesykana (Finnish), kilhog (Breton), kip (Dutch), koko, kokoška (Macedonian), kukko (Finnish), kur bankivský (Czech), kur bankiwa (Polish), kura (Polish), kura divá (Slovak), kurica (Russian), kurje, kurjetko, kurjo, kurka (Ukrainian), kuryca (Belarusian), kyckling (Swedish), kylling (Norwegian), malkureome (Palauan), manok-ihalas (Cebuano), moa (Hawaiian), oilasko (Basque), oilo (Basque), pile (Croatian), pilence kokoška (Bulgarian), piliç (Turkish), pišcanec (Slovenian), poleç (Friulian), pollastre (Catalan), pollo (Spanish), poul (Haiti), poulet (French), pragozdna kokoš (Slovenian), puddone (Sardinian), puddu (Sardinian), pui (Romanian), pulschain (Romansh), puna-džunglikana (Estonian), punaviidakkokana (Finnish), red junglefowl (English), Röd djungelhöna (Swedish), sekishokuyakei (Japanese), slepice (Czech), tavuk (Turkish), tigiega (Maltese), vista (Latvian), vuonccis (Northern Sami), wild chicken (English), wild junglefowl (English), yar (Breton)
Organism type: bird
Gallus spp. include the many forms of domesticated chicken which have been bred and distributed widely across the world as an important food source. In addition to potentially spreading disease to other avian fauna, as generalist feeders, Gallus spp. may also negatively impact upon native flora and fauna.
Gallus spp. are highly variable medium sized birds capable of short ranged flight. While there are many different forms of Gallus spp. , a number of characteristics are considered to indicate a pure G. gallus individual. These are the presence of an "eclipse" plumage in the males, absence of a comb and wattles in the female, slender dark legs, tail posture, call characteristics, and a generally wild and wary behaviour (Peterson & Brisbin, 1999).
Sexual dimorphism is common in this genus, with males being generally larger, with a larger comb and wattles.
agricultural areas, natural forests, planted forests, range/grasslands, scrub/shrublands, urban areas
Gallus spp. also can carry a number of diseases which may be harmful to other avian fauna such as Newcastle Disease (NDV), Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and the proventricular parasite Dispharynx sp. on the Galapagos Islands (Gottdenka et al., 2005).
In populations of Gallus spp. bred for food, there are risks of carrying disease causing pathogens such as Toxoplasma gondii and Salmonella spp. (Dubey, 2009). Although not confirmed, there were also fears that Gallus spp. could be a vector for the H5N1 avian bird flu (Daily Gazette, 2006).
Having a highly generalist diet, Gallus spp. could negatively impact native invertebrates and verbrates as well as native plants (Varnham, 2006). Feral Gallus spp. are also known to be a pest on farms, damaging crops and potentially spreading disease to domesticated Gallus spp. populations (Varnham, 1996; Daily Gazette, 1998.).
In high numbers, Gallus spp. can become a human nuisance due to the noise made by males.
They are potential risks to aircraft near airports (Daily Gazette, 1998).
Gallus gallus has been bred to produce many different domesticated variants which are used and widely distribued as a source of food (Pyle & Pyle, 2009).
Gallus gallus is thought to have provided the genetic stock for various domesticated breeds of chicken Gallus spp. which are widely distributed across the world. As the subspecies are capable of interbreeding, it is possible that the original pure genetic strain of G. gallus could actually be extinct or critically endangered (Peterson & Brisbin, 1999). A survey of 745 museum specimens suggests that most wild populations of G. gallus have been contaminated by introgression of genes from domesticated and feral chickens (Peterson & Brisbin, 1999).
Native range: Himalayan region, Southeast Asia and Indonesia (Pyle & Pyle 2009) including the following countries: Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Puerto Rico; Singapore; Thailand; Timor-Leste; and Viet Nam (BirdLife International 2009).
Known introduced range: Australia; Marshall Islands; Micronesia, Federated States of; Nauru; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; and the United States (BirdLife International 2009). Domestic variants of G. gallus have been widely distributed across the world as a food source (Pyle & Pyle, 2009).
Introduction pathways to new locations
Live food trade: Gallus spp. have been widely distributed and bred as a food source for humans (Pyle & Pyle, 2009).
Local dispersal methods
Escape from confinement:
Natural dispersal (local):
Physical control: Feral individual Gallus spp. are often controlled via shooting or trapping as carried out on Bermuda and the Cayman Islands (Varnham, 2006). On the Cayman Islands, trapped feral individuals were then distributed to people who kept chickens (Varnham, 2006).
Chemical control: On Lord Howe Island, Gallus spp. were one of the species identified to be put at risk from use of brodifacoum for rodent eradication (Lord Howe Island Board, 2009). However, no information could be found regarding chemical control programs for Gallus spp.. On Bermuda, chemical control was not considered due to the risk of non-target effects on other avian fauna and farmer's crops (Daily Gazette, 2006).
Gallus spp. are generalist feeders on a wide range of invertebrates and vertebrates as well as plants and seeds.
Compiled by: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
Last Modified: Wednesday, 9 June 2010