Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus


Taxonomic note
Phasianus colchicus and P. versicolor (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as P. colchicus following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

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

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2014 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 20,900,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 160000000-219999999 poor estimated 2012
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5 - - -

Population justification: The European population is estimated at 4,140,000-5,370,000 pairs, which equates to 8,290,000-10,700,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms <5% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 165,800,000-214,000,000 mature individuals although further validation of this estimate is needed. The global population is therefore placed in the band 160,000,000-219,999,999 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is widespread and very common in much of its range, however populations are declining locally owing to habitat loss and over-hunting. In Europe the population is estimated to be increasing (BirdLife International 2015). Subspecies talischensis is considered very rare and may number only 200-300 individuals (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania I Extant Yes
Andorra I Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Australia I Extant Yes
Austria I Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahamas I Extant Yes
Belarus I Extant Yes
Belgium I Extant Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina I Extant Yes
Bulgaria I Extant Yes
Canada I Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Croatia I Extant Yes
Cuba I Extant Yes
Czechia I Extant Yes
Denmark I Extant Yes
Finland I Extant Yes
France I Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany I Extant Yes
Greece I Extant Yes
Hungary I Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Ireland I Extant Yes
Italy I Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Latvia I Extant Yes
Liechtenstein I Extant Yes
Lithuania I Extant Yes
Luxembourg I Extant Yes
Mexico I Presence Uncertain Yes
Moldova I Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro I Extant Yes
Morocco I Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Netherlands I Extant Yes
New Zealand I Extant Yes
North Korea N Extant Yes
North Macedonia I Extant Yes
Norway I Extant Yes
Poland I Extant Yes
Portugal I Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) I Presence Uncertain Yes
Romania I Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) I Extant Yes
Serbia I Extant Yes
Slovakia I Extant Yes
Slovenia I Extant Yes
South Korea N Extant Yes
Spain I Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) I Extant Yes
Sweden I Extant Yes
Switzerland I Extant Yes
Taiwan, China N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Turkey I Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Ukraine I Extant Yes
United Kingdom I Extant Yes
USA I Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Vietnam N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Azerbaijan Karayazi forest
Azerbaijan Alazani river valley
Azerbaijan Astara-chai valley
Azerbaijan Barda tugai forest
Azerbaijan Gekchai Bozdag mountains
Azerbaijan Ismailly area
Azerbaijan Kusari (Gusari) area
Azerbaijan Samur Delta
Azerbaijan Sheki upland
Azerbaijan Vilajchai valley
Poland Marshy Valley of the Narew River
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Mount Kerketio (Koziakas)
Finland Mietoistenlahti bay
Russia (European) Budary lakes
France Forêts picardes : Compiègne, Laigue, Ourscamp
Italy Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola
Georgia Eastern Caucasus
Georgia Iori Region
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Germany Main valley near Volkach: Fahr-Dettelbach
Germany Altmühl valley between Treuchtlingen and Leutershausen with Altmühlsee
Germany Ponds and Elbe valley near Torgau
Germany Rhön Biosphere Reserve
Germany Rhäden near Obersuhl and Bosserode
Germany Twiste reservior
Afghanistan Darqad
Afghanistan Imam Sahib
Afghanistan Hari Rud valley
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arasbaran Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hari Rud valley near Sarrakhs
Russia (European) Dono-Donetskoye flood-plain
Kazakhstan Lower reaches of the Sarysu River
Russia (European) Kissyk area
Russia (European) Floodplain of the Terek river near Staroshchedrinskaya
Russia (European) Lower reaches of Sulak river
Ukraine Upper of r.Mokra Sura
Ukraine Serednyotomakivske reservior
Kyrgyzstan Tokmak Pheasant Reserve
Kazakhstan Kapchagay Canyon
Kazakhstan Zhusandala
Kazakhstan Chokpak Pass
Kazakhstan Syrdarya Delta Lakes
Kazakhstan Chardara Reservoir
Kazakhstan Sorbulak Lake System

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Forest Temperate suitable resident
Shrubland Temperate suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - - Non-trivial Recent
Food - human - - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Phasianus colchicus. Downloaded from on 28/11/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/11/2021.