Germain’s peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron germaini)

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Female Germain's peacock-pheasant on perch
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Germain’s peacock-pheasant fact file

Germain’s peacock-pheasant description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderGalliformes
FamilyPhasianidae
GenusPolyplectron (1)

Like most other peacock-pheasants (Polyplectron spp.), this is an elegant species possessing sombre colours but elaborate markings. The male’s plumage is dark brown to black, finely spotted with buff, and decorated on the back, shoulders, wings and tail with large round eye-shaped spots (ocelli), which are brilliant metallic violet-blue and green in colour (4). Males can be distinguished from other peacock-pheasants (Polyplectron spp.) by the larger size of these eye-shaped spots and the lack of a crest or ruff around the neck (2). Females are smaller and slightly duller than males, with dark brown plumage streaked and freckled with pale brownish-grey, and the blue eye-shaped spots on their back, shoulders and wings are somewhat triangular (2) (4). Both sexes have bare red facial skin around their eyes (5).

Spanish
Espolonero de Germain, Faisán de Cola Ocelada de Germain, Faisán Real de Germain.
Size
Male size: c. 56 cm (2)
Female size: c. 48 cm (2)
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Germain’s peacock-pheasant biology

In captivity, Germain’s peacock-pheasant appears to breed almost year-round, with females laying again once their young become independent. In the wild, this bird has been observed breeding from February to April. Clutches usually consists of two eggs, which are incubated for 21 to 22 days (6).

Nothing is known of the diet in the wild, although it is probably similar to that of the grey peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum), with which this species shares its range (6). This consists of berries, fruits, seeds, wild figs, grubs, ants, insects, snails and other small animals (2).

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Germain’s peacock-pheasant range

Known from central and southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodia (6).

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Germain’s peacock-pheasant habitat

Found in a range of forest types including lowland, montane, dipterocarp-dominated evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, as well as logged secondary forest, and also recorded from thorny bamboo brakes (2) (7). Known from sea-level up to at least 1,400 metres above sea level (7).

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Germain’s peacock-pheasant status

Classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1) and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Near Threatened

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Germain’s peacock-pheasant threats

Historically, Germain’s peacock-pheasant has suffered major declines due to forest clearance for subsistence cultivation and localised commercial cropping of coffee and cashew nuts, as well as commercial logging and resettlement programmes (6) (7). Much of the lowland forest within the species’ range has been destroyed or severely fragmented, and hill forest is being increasingly logged and disturbed (8). Hunting with guns and snares, even within protected areas, is also a significant threat to this species (7) (8).

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Germain’s peacock-pheasant conservation

Populations survive in several protected areas within Vietnam, and there are records from Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area and Virachey National Park in Cambodia. However, a shortage of staff and resources in some of these areas means that hunting, disturbance and small-scale logging persist. A five year project, started in 1998, has now been completed in Cat Loc Nature Reserve and Cat Tien National Park (the two areas are now administratively integrated), which focused on research towards a conservation management plan, capacity building, community development and conservation education. Alongside such important initiatives, it is imperative that more effective control of human encroachment and hunting is achieved in protected areas, if this graceful pheasant is to survive growing human pressures (7).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For more information on Germain’s peacock-pheasant see:

  • BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Dipterocarp
Tree of the family Dipterocarpaceae.
Montane forest
Forest occurring in the montane zone, a zone of cool upland slopes below the tree line dominated by large evergreen trees.
Secondary forest
Forest that has re-grown after a major disturbance, such as fire or timber harvest, but has not yet reached the mature state of primary forest.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - New World Vultures To Guineafowl. Vol. 2. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. CITES (July, 2006)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. Delacour, J. (1951) The Pheasants of the World. Country Life Ltd., London.
  5. gbwf.org: Dedicated to the Aviculture and Conservation of the World’s Galliformes (August, 2006)
    http://www.gbwf.org/pheasants/germains.html
  6. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  7. BirdLife International (August, 2006)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=277&m=0
  8. Zoological Museum of the University of Amsterdam (ZMA) (August, 2006)
    http://ip30.eti.uva.nl/zma3d/detail.php?id=138&sort=taxon&type=family
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Image credit

Female Germain's peacock-pheasant on perch  
Female Germain's peacock-pheasant on perch

© John Corder / World Pheasant Association

World Pheasant Association
Biology Field Station
Newcastle University
Heddon-on-the-Wall
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 0HT
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1661 853397
Fax: +44 (0) 1661 853397
office@pheasant.org.uk
http://www.pheasant.org.uk/

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