Vietnamese Pheasant

Vietnamese Pheasant in the topical house at Wingham Wildlife Park

Size

The average length of this bird is between 58 and 65cm.

Habitat and Distribution

They inhabit small areas of lowland forest through areas of Vietnam.  All but one record of its distribution have placed its natural populations within the Ke Go Nature Reserve.  It lives mainly around rivers and streams where the vegetation is at its most lush.

Age

The average lifesapn of these birds is around 12 years.

Diet

The main diet of these birds is made up of seeds, berries, buds and leaves however will also take a very small number of insects in their diet.

Groups and Breeding

This bird lays clutches of 5 to 7 eggs which take between 21 and 22 days to hatch.

Threats

Due to its very fragmented distribution which is shrinking constantly thanks to logging and human settlement, this is an endangered species whos numbers have steadily continued to decline.  Even though the hunting of all birds in the nature reserve is strictly forbidden, the reserve is not managed very effectively which when coupled with the vast hunting levels in Vietnam mean that the only real chance of survival which this species has is through well managed captive breeding programs.  This is thought to be the rarest of all pheasants in zoological collections with a captive population of around 115 and a wild population of less than 2,500.

Interesting facts

In captivity these are often mistaken for a number of other similar looking pheasant species which leads to this species being hybridized fairly regularly by breeders, however this is often not intentional.