Bornean Peacock-Pheasant

(Polyplectron schleiermacheri)

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Polyplectron schleiermacheri
Photo by Sebestian Tan

The following page was put together with assistance from Tjoen Wijaya.

Scientific Information

Other Names:

Subspecies: The Bornean Peacock Pheasant is a lowland forest pheasant endemic to the island of Borneo and considered by some to be a full species; but when one is familiar with both Malay PP and this species, one cannot help to notice the peculiar similarities which make the Bornean PP seem more correctly considered to be a sub-species of P. malacense as in Smythies. These similarities include: very closely marked upperparts and tail (save for the shorter tail and black sub-terminal band), both with an orange facial and periophthalmic region and the diagnostic black (dark) ear coverts and the structures of both crest and ruff at the neck. Both the Malay and Bornean PP notably have a single-egg clutch, which is the norm for both species.

Range: Distributed historically and with museum specimens collected throughout various localities on the island of Borneo; in East, Central and Western Kalimantan, Indonesia and possibly existing in some locations in Sabah and Sarawak, North Borneo. Extremely rare and local in distribution.

Habitat: Lowland forests; where survival of the species probably depends upon the future of lowland primary forest below 300m.

Based on recent fieldwork and the extent of its remaining habitat, the population is estimated to be between 1000 and 2,499 (BirdLife 2008)). The species is presumed always to have been difficult to detect, possibly reflecting very low densities.

Its ecological needs are poorly understood, research shows the species inhabits lowland plain and lowland dipterocarp forest on moderately fertile soils, probably avoiding wetter substrates in swamp-forest or near water bodies. Recent studies confirm the use of closed dry lowland dipterocarp forest habitats (Fredriksson & Nijman 2004) but a tolerance for regenerating habitats has yet to be properly established.

Status in Wild: Listed as endangered. (2008 IUCN Red List Category)

Over-exploitation for food and logging has contributed to a rapid decline. In many parts of Borneo, the habitat is becoming fragmented, due to the conversion of the forest to agricultural land and oil-palm plantations. The species will be probably be confined to protected areas in the future.

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(l to r): 1-3, Sebestian Tan.


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