Hainan peacock-pheasant

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Hainan peacock-pheasant
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Galliformes
Family: Phasianidae
Genus: Polyplectron
P. katsumatae
Binomial name
Polyplectron katsumatae

The Hainan peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron katsumatae) is an endangered bird that belongs to the pheasant family Phasianidae. It is endemic to the island of Hainan, China. It is extremely rare.


The bird was long considered a subspecies of grey peacock-pheasant or Polyplectron bicalcaratum. The Hainan peacock-pheasant is smaller, and it possesses a short crest and ruff (Johnsgard 1986).[full citation needed] It has red facial skin as opposed to grey in the yellow-orange facial skin of the grey peacock-pheasant. Beebe (1922)[full citation needed] noted various plumage differences between the two and considered them separate species.[2]


Due to lack of detailed taxonomic studies, whether it was truly a subspecies (Polyplectron bicalcaratum katsumatae) or a full species remained unclear. Scientists used molecular markers, including the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and intron G of the nuclear ovomucoid gene, to reevaluate the taxonomy of the Hainan peacock-pheasant. The results showed phylogeographic monophyly and large genetic distance between the Hainan peacock-pheasant and the grey peacock-pheasant. Sequence differences corroborated the species-level distinction between these two peacock-pheasants, which were inferred to have diverged about 1.4±0.3 million years ago, near the time Hainan Island became separated from mainland China. BirdLife International has also decided to recognize the split of Polyplectron katsumatae from Polyplectron bicalcaratum.[3]

Conservation status

Due to a very low population density[4] in tropical forest and declining population, it is now becoming severely endangered and should be regarded as the rarest species in the order Galliformes in China. Taking more conservation action immediately to protect this endangered island endemic is imperative.

See also


  1. BirdLife International (2013). "Polyplectron katsumatae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2010-02-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. http://www.birdlifeforums.org/[email protected]@.2cba6deb/1 Archived 2016-04-01 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Chang, Jiang; Wang, Biao; Zhang, Yang-Yun; Liu, Ying; Liang, Wei; Wang, Ji-Chao; Shi, Hai-Tao; Su, Wen-Ba; Zhang, Zheng-Wang (2008). "Molecular Evidence for Species Status of the Endangered Hainan Peacock Pheasant". Zoological Science. 25 (1): 30–35. doi:10.2108/zsj.25.30. PMID 18275243. S2CID 9715464.
  • Collar, N. (2009) Hainan Peacock-Pheasant: another CR species for the IUCN Red List? [email protected] 2: 14–19.
  • del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2. New World Vultures to Guineafowl. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
  • Madge, S. and McGowan, P. (2002) Pheasants, Partridges & Grouse. London: Christopher Helm.

Literature cited

  • Burns, Chang; J. Wang; B. Zhang; Y.Y. Liu; Y. Liang; W. Wang; J.C. Shi; H.T. Su; W.B. Zhang, Z.W. (2008). "Molecular Evidence for Species Status of the Endangered Hainan Peacock-Pheasant". Zoological Science. 25 (1): 30–35. doi:10.2108/zsj.25.30. PMID 18275243. S2CID 9715464.

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