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Bornean Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron schleiermacheri
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This elusive species's status is difficult to judge, but recent anecdotal evidence regarding its range and habitat indicates that it has a very small, fragmented and declining population, justifying its classification as Endangered.

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 c.50 cm, female c.35.5 cm. Peacock-pheasant with white throat. Male has white central breast and metallic blue-green breast-sides, rufous-brown upperparts liberally marked with small green ocelli. Female smaller and duller. Both sexes have dull, variably reddish facial skin. Voice Series of increasingly loud, harsh cackles, typical of the genus. Also a loud disyllabic crow, kank kank, with an almost quacking quality to it.

Distribution and population
Polyplectron schleiermacheri is endemic to Borneo, where it is known from Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia and Kalimantan, Indonesia. A 1996 questionnaire survey of 97 villages across central Kalimantan found that two-thirds of these communities described it as rare or very rare, whilst one-third considered that it was fairly common. Feathers of the species were produced at four locations. Eighty-five percent of individual interviewees felt that it had declined. There are recent reports from Danum Valley, Deramakot Forest Reserve (G. Davison in litt. 2007) and Ulu Tongod (Sabah), Gunung Mulu National Park (Sarawak), Nangatayap (near Gunung Palung National Park, west Kalimantan), Muarakarum/Palangkaraya, central Kalimantan, Sungai Wain, south-eastern Kalimantan and reports from Sukau (Sabah). Records are sporadic (B. van Balen in litt. 2012), hindering a more robust assessment of its status.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 1,000-2,499 individuals, based on a detailed analysis of recent records by BirdLife International (2001). This equates to 667-1,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 600-1,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to have experienced a rapid decline over the last ten years, based on questionnaire responses from local people (see BirdLife International 2001).

Its ecological needs are poorly understood. Analyses using geographical information systems (GIS) indicate that it inhabits lowland plain and lowland dipterocarp forest on moderately fertile soils, probably avoiding wetter substrates in swamp-forest or near water-bodies. A recent study further confirmed the use of closed dry lowland dipterocarp forest habitats (Fredriksson and Nijman 2004). The species has been recorded in areas of forest that were burned in the 1997-1998 fires, but its tolerance for regenerating habitats has not yet been properly assessed (Fredriksson and Nijman 2004). Available records and reports of the species imply that it occurs between 0-1,000 m (G. Davison in litt. 2007).

In central Kalimantan, habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation as a result of large-scale commercial logging (deliberately targeting all remaining stands of valuable timber including those inside protected areas), widespread clearance for plantations of rubber and oil-palm, and hunting with snares, are the main threats. Kalimantan lost nearly 25% of its evergreen forest during 1985-1997. The impact of the major fires of 1997-1998 was patchy, with many small alluvial areas escaping damage (Fredriksson and Nijman 2004). However, such fires appear to be increasing in frequency and severity. In central Kalimantan, most remaining lowland forest is granted to logging concessions, with a negligible area currently afforded any protected status. The species was recorded in trade by TRAFFIC in 1998 when six birds were taken out of Kalimantan to Singapore (Shepherd 2000).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. A questionnaire survey was conducted in Central Kalimantan in 1996. It has been recorded in Sungai Wain Nature Reserve, Danau Sentarum National Park and near (if not within) Bukit Raya National Park, all in Kalimantan. An increase in the area of protected lowland forest encompassed by the Bukit Raya National Park has been proposed. Conservation Actions Proposed
Assist forest managers in habitat identification and zoning of concession areas. Promote the concept of Forest Management Units in Sabah (99-year concessions of great size). Promote prohibition of hunting by logging company employees and others. Determine major population centres, optimal habitat and response to habitat alteration Recommend protected area status or other appropriate management responses for any sites found to support the species. Support the proposed extension of Bukit Raya National Park, Central Kalimantan. Promote the careful management of captive populations including the creation of a studbook if appropriate (G. Davison in litt. 2007).

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

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Fredriksson, G.M.; Nijman, V. 2004. Habitat use and conservation status of two elusive ground birds (Carpococcyx radiatus and Polyplectron schleiermacheri) in the Sungai Wain Protection Forest, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Oryx 38: 297-303.

Keane, A.M.; Garson, P.J.; McGowan, P.J. K. in press. Pheasants: status survey and conservation action plan 2005-2009. IUCN and WPA, Gland, Switzerland.

Shepherd, C. R. 2000. Some notes on the trade of rare pheasants in Indonesia.

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., Bird, J., Davidson, P., Keane, A., Taylor, J.

Davison, G., Lambert, F., van Balen, B.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Polyplectron schleiermacheri. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 - Bornean peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron schleiermacheri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Phasianidae (Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse)
Species name author Brüggemann, 1877
Population size 600-1700 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 189,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species