Justification of Red List Category
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Text account compilers
Davidson, G., Benstead, P., Harding, M., Keane, A., Mahood, S., Taylor, J.
Evans, T., Eames, J.C., Brickle, N., Tran Vy, N.
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Polyplectron germaini. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/03/2021.