Climate response surface
The Little Bustard breeds in Europe at present mainly in two disjunct areas, one in the south-west, encompassing Iberia, France and Sardinia, and the other in the south-east, in Ukraine and southern Russia. It also has an isolated breeding area in the Gargano Peninsula in eastern Italy. It formerly had a more or less continuous distribution across central Europe and the Balkans; however, habitat loss, as a result of agricultural intensification, and hunting, have resulted in large decreases of both range and population. The majority of the European population now breeds in Spain. Outside Europe, it breeds in Morocco, east across central Asia to Kazakhstan and north-west China, as well as south to northernmost Iran. It is primarily a bird of steppe grasslands, although in the west it is found in agricultural areas such as sheep pastures or large fields of legumes or cereal crops. It nests on the ground amongst low vegetation. Its diet comprises mainly plants and invertebrates, with succulent plants providing an important source of water. It is resident in the south but migratory in the north, northern breeders wintering in southern parts of the breeding range.