When it comes to birds, we can probably name a handful of the more common ones, but there are around 10,000 species of birds around the world, so it’s understandable if you don’t know them all. In this article, we’ll talk about the Bornean peacock pheasant and what makes it so unique.
Bornean peacock pheasant: Nestled in the lowland forests of Borneo, you might come across the Bornean peacock pheasant. While rare, these birds are a sight to see. Both the males and females of the species have bright green eyespots on their feathers and the males even have bright green necks and crests. The rest of their feathers are a dull brown color. Males are larger than females. Unfortunately, there are very few Bornean peacock pheasants left in the world and they are currently listed as an Endangered species. As the population around Borneo continues to rise, more forest area on the island is cut down for lumber. These rare birds have less and less habitat so there are more predators and less food to go around. More is needed to be done to save these rare and gorgeous birds.
What is a Bornean Peacock Pheasant?
We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of these birds before. They are incredibly rare and only live in one part of the world.
Hopefully, however, with more awareness of them, there will be a larger push to protect them from extinction.
While there are some pictures of Borneo peacock pheasants, there are not many. This is a very elusive bird and spotting it is made all the harder by the fact its population is so small.
Overall, the males and females of this species look similar although the males are almost twice as large.
Both males and females have brown feathers with rich, iridescent green eyespots along with their back and tail feathers. However, males have larger tails, although nothing as impressive as male peacocks.
As for male Bornean peacock pheasants, they have an iridescent green chest while females are brown in color. Males also have a green crest on the top of their heads.
The Bornean peacock pheasant gets its name from where it lives, Borneo. Located in southeast Asia, off the Malay Peninsula, Borneo is a large island that is actually divided between three countries.
Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia all have claims on the island although the majority of the island belongs to Indonesia.
Borneo is home to an incredibly old and rich rainforest. Here you can find endangered species such as Bornean orangutans and Borneo elephants.
Unfortunately, like most areas with rich rainforests, a lot of the area has been heavily logged. As the population on the island and surrounding countries boomed, a need for raw lumber emerged. The result was a loss of trees and habitat to species that depend on the forest cover for both their homes and their food.
The scientific name for the Bornean peacock pheasant is Polyplectron Schleiermacher. It is called P. Schleiermacher for short for its species name.
Here are the specifics of its taxonomy:
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Aves
- Order: Galliformes
- Family: Phasianidae
- Genus: Polyplectron
- Species: P. Schleiermacheri
The Polupectron genus refers to peacock pheasants, which is a unique group of birds. Within this genus, there are a total of eight species.
Interestingly, the name peacock pheasant came about in1807 with a Dutch zoologist, Coenraad Jacob Temminck, who first saw a bird that looked like a cross between a peacock and a pheasant.
Even though these species do not have any genetic relation to pheasants, and only a distant passing to peacocks, the name stuck.
Status (endangered or not)
Unfortunately, the Bornean peacock pheasant is on the Endangered list of animals. This is a list produced by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The IUCN ranks every animal around the world on a sliding scale between Extinct and Least Concern. It also creates its own IUCN Red List, which is a list of threatened species.
The Bornean peacock pheasant is currently on the Red List. It lives in a very small part of Borneo and is losing more and more of its already small habitat.
There is a growing awareness around the bird but as of now, its fate is unknown.
Where can you find Bornean Peacock Pheasant?
You can find Bornean peacock pheasants on the island of Borneo. This is an island that is divided into three countries, Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
However, the Bornean peacock pheasant, like many animals, does not ascribe to country lines and can be found around the island.
They are ground birds that forage for food during the day, eating a varied diet of plants and insects. They can fly short distances and prefer to roost in trees for better protection.
How much are Bornean peacock pheasants?
Unfortunately, you cannot purchase Bornean peacock pheasants. They are endangered animals, and this purchase of them is illegal.
Furthermore, there are very few left in the wild. Even most zoos do not have these animals so they are incredibly rare to come across, even in captivity.
Is a peacock the same as a pheasant?
Peacocks and pheasants are often clumped together because of their shared iridescent coloring. In fact, that is how the species of peacock pheasants were categorized. The birds look like a mixture of the other two animals.
However, while both peacocks and pheasants are birds, they are not the same. In fact, they are entirely different species.
The same goes with peacock pheasants. Again, even though they share similar colorings, they are different species.
As such, none of these birds from different species are able to breed together. They are too genetically different to create a new type of species.
Little is known of the Bornean peacock pheasant because there are very few that still exist, and those that do only live on the island of Borneo. Unfortunately, these birds are listed as an Endangered species, and their fate remains to be seen.