email a friend
printable version
Tibetan Eared-pheasant Crossoptilon harmani
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

Although it can be quite common where it is not hunted, this species is likely to have a moderately small population overall, and this is probably in decline owing to hunting and habitat degradation. It therefore qualifies as Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Crossoptilon harmani has been recorded in south-east Tibet, China, and at least one locality in extreme northern Arunachal Pradesh, India (BirdLife International 2001). It is locally common, and adaptable to disturbed habitats.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as probably locally numerous, although little known (Madge and McGowan 2002).

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, habitat degradation and hunting are suspected to be causing a slow to moderate decline.

It occurs in tall dense scrub in dry river valleys, the borders of mixed broadleaved and coniferous forest, and grassy hill slopes, from 3,000 to 5,000 m (and rarely down to 2,400 m). In the breeding season, adult males and females form monogamous pair bonds, and each pair produces one brood per year (Xin Lu 2007). Egg-laying takes place from mid-April to early June, and only females incubate the eggs (Xin Lu 2007). 

Deforestation and hunting may be significant threats in Tibet, and it is probably declining. One mechanism through which habitat loss is likely to be impacting the species is the loss of roosting habitat, which may interact with the species's social hierarchy and resulting spatial segregation of roosting birds (Xin Lu and Guangmei Zheng 2007) to cause an increase in density-dependent mortality.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the population at selected sites. Asses the effect of hunting across its range. Protect large areas of unlogged forest in areas where it occurs.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Madge, S.; McGowan, P. 2002. Pheasants, partridges and grouse: including buttonquails, sandgrouse and allies. Christopher Helm, London.

Xin Lu; Guangmei Zheng. 2007. Dominance-dependent microroost use in flock-living Tibetan Eared-pheasants. Ardea 95(2): 225-234.

Xin Lu. 2007. Male behaviors of socially monogamous Tibetan Eared-pheasants during the breeding season. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(4): 592-601.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S. & Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Crossoptilon harmani. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Phasianidae (Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse)
Species name author Elwes, 1881
Population size U mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 64,800 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species