Swinhoe's Pheasant Lophura swinhoii


Justification of Red List Category
This pheasant has a small population of unknown sub-population structure, occupying a small range, which is not severely fragmented, but is contracting owing to habitat degradation. It is probably secure within protected areas, but these are likely to become isolated in the long term owing to habitat loss outside their boundaries. This combination of factors qualifies the species as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population is estimated to number c.5,000-10,000 individuals (BirdLife International 2001), roughly equivalent to 3,300-6,700 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining outside of protected areas owing to habitat degradation. An analysis of deforestation from 2000 to 2012 found that forest within the species's range was lost at a rate equivalent to 1% over three generation lengths (Tracewski et al. 2016). This suggests that the overall population is declining only slowly.

Distribution and population

Lophura swinhoii is endemic to the mountains of central Taiwan (China). Intensive fieldwork in the early 1970s suggested that there might be 5,000-10,000 individuals, although a recent estimate of c.6,500 individuals in Yushan National Park alone indicates that its total population is likely to exceed 10,000 birds. The species became extinct at several localities in the 1960s and 1970s, but it apparently remains common in suitable habitat, and it has populations in several protected areas. Its numbers are probably stable where it is protected, but may be declining elsewhere because of a variety of pressures on its habitat.


It inhabits primary broadleaved forest and mature secondary forest at 200-2,300 m.


Heavy hunting pressure was a problem for it in the past, but is no longer a serious threat. Deforestation is still a threat outside protected areas, and there is the risk that sub-populations will become isolated in the future.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

CITES Appendix I.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Survey to assess the size of the population. Regularly monitor the population at selected sites. Asses the effect of hunting outside of protected areas. Enforce the protection afforded to the species by the national parks. Control logging outside protected areas to ensure connectivity between habitat patches.


Text account compilers
Mahood, S., Taylor, J., Wheatley, H., Benstead, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Lophura swinhoii. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/swinhoes-pheasant-lophura-swinhoii on 06/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 06/06/2023.