Palearctic (Region)The zoogeographical region which covers Europe, Asia (apart from the area south of the Himalayas and most of Arabia) and Africa south to the middle of the Sahara. In recent years it has been found desirable to define a 'sub-region' called the 'Western Palearctic', which, as used in the handbook The Birds of the Western Palearctic, consists of Europe (east to the Ural Mountains and the Ural River), the Near East and the Middle East (as far as the Caspian Sea and the Persian Gulf, but excluding Iran and most of Arabia), North Africa (south to the mid-Sahara), the islands of the eastern North Atlantic, including Iceland, the British Isles, the Azores, the Canary Islands and the Cape Verde Islands, together with the European Arctic islands such as Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver