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Germain's Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron germaini
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This pheasant is listed as Near Threatened because it is believed to have a moderately small and declining population. Its use of a range of disturbed and secondary forest habitats suggests that projected declines on the basis of habitat clearance may not be as severe as previously supposed.

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.

Male 56-60 cm, female 48 cm. Dark peacock-pheasant. Similar spp. Male smaller and darker than Grey Peacock-pheasant P. bicalcaratum with finer, denser, pale markings and darker, more greenish-blue ocelli (often appear darker purple). Much darker head and neck with more distinct pale bars, dull blood-red facial skin, no crest and white restricted to upper throat. Female distinctly darker and more uniform overall than P. bicalcaratum, with smaller, rather pointed, and much more defined ocelli on upperside. Lacks obvious pale scaling above, head more distinctly pale barred or speckled, with white restricted to upper throat.

Distribution and population
Polyplectron germaini is endemic to southern Indo-China, where it is known only from south Annam and Cochinchina, Vietnam, and southern and eastern Mondulkiri province and Ratanakiri province, Cambodia (N. Brickle in litt. 2004). The largest known populations are found in tracts of forest retained within protected areas (J. Eames in litt. 2004, N. Tran Vy in litt. 2004, T. Evans in litt. 2005). There are recent records from numerous localities, including Cat Tien National Park and Cat Loc Nature Reserve, where it is fairly common, the lower slopes of the Da Lat and Di Linh Plateaus and Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area, Cambodia (N. Brickle in litt. 2004). In 1998, it was also frequently heard and seen at six sites in Dak Lak province during surveys.

Population justification
N. Brickle (in litt. 2004) estimated the global population to number up to 10,000 individuals, with single populations numbering over 1,000 individuals each. T. Evans (in litt. 2005) estimated that the subpopulation in southern Mondulkiri province, north-east Cambodia, numbers at least 1,000 individuals, and estimated the global population to number at least 10,000 individuals. In light of this latter estimate the population is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
N. Brickle in litt. (2004) and J. Eames in litt. (2004) argue that there is little to suggest that the overall population is in decline, although there is locally high hunting pressure and probably some continuing habitat loss, thus a slow rate of decline is suspected.

It appears to occupy a range of forest types from montane, dipterocarp-dominated evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, including logged secondary forest and thorny bamboo brakes (N. Brickle in litt. 2004). It is found in both damp and dry areas, from sea-level up to at least 1,400 m.

Historically it has suffered major declines owing to forest loss and fragmentation resulting from commercial logging and resettlement programmes. These activities have exacerbated clearance of land for subsistence cultivation and localised commercial cropping of coffee and cashew nuts. However, in recent times habitat loss has slowed in Indochina (N. Brickle in litt. 2004, J. Eames in litt. 2004). Hunting with guns and snares, even within protected areas, also represents a threat to the species (T. Evans in litt. 2005). Shortage of staff and resources in protected areas results in ineffective control of illegal activities, especially hunting, disturbance and small-scale logging.

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Populations survive in several protected areas in Vietnam, including: Cat Tien, Lo Go-Xa Mat, Yok Don, Nui Chua (N. Tran Vy in litt. 2004) and Bu Gia Map (N. Tran Vy in litt. 2004). National Parks; Cat Loc and Chu Yang Sin Nature Reserves; Nghia Trung, Bao Lam, Loc Bac, De Te and La Nga state forest enterprises (N. Tran Vy in litt. 2004). In Cambodia there are several records from the Seima Biodiversity Conservation Area and one from Virachey National Park (N. Brickle in litt. 2004). A five-year project, started in 1998, in Cat Loc Nature Reserve and Cat Tien National Park (the two areas are now administratively integrated) is now complete (J. Eames in litt. 2004). It focused on research towards a conservation management plan, capacity building, community development and conservation education. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in remaining suitable habitat blocks in Vietnam, including Bui Gia Map Nature Reserve. Conduct further searches for the species in east Cambodia to clarify its distribution and status there, establishing a protected area if possible. Determine its tolerance of forest degradation and secondary habitats. Establish a protected area in south-west Lam Dong province, where the species occurs in good numbers. Promote more effective control of encroachment and hunting in protected areas supporting populations.

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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

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
Harding, M., Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Davidson, G., Keane, A., Taylor, J.

Eames, J.C., Evans, T., Tran Vy, N., Brickle, N.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Polyplectron germaini. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Germain’s peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron germaini) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Phasianidae (Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse)
Species name author Elliot, 1866
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 38,700 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species