Tibetan Eared-pheasant Crossoptilon harmani


Justification of Red List Category
Although it can be quite common where it is not hunted, this species is likely to have a moderately small population overall, and this is probably in decline owing to hunting and habitat degradation. It therefore qualifies as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as probably locally numerous, although little known (Madge and McGowan 2002).

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, habitat degradation and hunting are suspected to be causing a slow to moderate decline.

Distribution and population

Crossoptilon harmani has been recorded in south-east Tibet, China, and at least one locality in extreme northern Arunachal Pradesh, India (BirdLife International 2001). It is locally common, and adaptable to disturbed habitats.


It occurs in tall dense scrub in dry river valleys, the borders of mixed broadleaved and coniferous forest, and grassy hill slopes, from 3,000 to 5,000 m (and rarely down to 2,400 m). In the breeding season, adult males and females form monogamous pair bonds, and each pair produces one brood per year (Xin Lu 2007). Egg-laying takes place from mid-April to early June, and only females incubate the eggs (Xin Lu 2007). 


Deforestation and hunting may be significant threats in Tibet, and it is probably declining. One mechanism through which habitat loss is likely to be impacting the species is the loss of roosting habitat, which may interact with the species's social hierarchy and resulting spatial segregation of roosting birds (Xin Lu and Guangmei Zheng 2007) to cause an increase in density-dependent mortality.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the population at selected sites. Asses the effect of hunting across its range. Protect large areas of unlogged forest in areas where it occurs.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S. & Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Crossoptilon harmani. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2022.